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Tesla stock sees 26% uptick in institutional holders despite 2024 plunge

Tesla stock sees 26% uptick in institutional holders despite 2024 plunge

A dominant theme for the electric vehicle (EV) market in 2024 has been that, despite a notable slowdown in demand and stock market struggles, experts, analysts, and institutions remain very bullish when it comes to many prominent companies in the industry.

Indeed, while the Lucid Group (NASDAQ: LCID) has spent much of the time since its initial public offering (IPO) failing to meet expectations and declining on the stock market, the average 12-month price target for its stock continues to forecast a 35% uptrend.

Similarly, despite Rivian (NASDAQ: RIVN) failing to rally even in the context of the February EV stock uptrend, most recent analyst ratings still rank it as a “buy.”

Given the trend, it perhaps isn’t surprising that Tesla’s (NASDAQ: TSLA) market performance in the last six months hasn’t prevented institutional investors from increasing their stake in Elon Musk’s EV maker.

Latest filings reveal institutional interest in Tesla stock still high

Indeed, as of the latest available filings accounting for the period that ended on December 31, 2023, 1,614 institutional holders increased their stake in TSLA with a total of 66,414,856 shares held, while 1,239 decreased theirs with 40,308,546 shares held.

Such figures suggest that 26% more institutional holders are willing to bet that Tesla is set to offer a strong performance in the coming period than are counting on a protracted downtrend.

TSLA institutional stake increases vs decreases. Source: Nasdaq

Still, given the data breakoff point, it is important to note that Tesla’s overall 2023 performance has been promising and that it started its decline in earnest only in the second half of the year and only had its 52-week chart turn red in late January 2024. 

This means that the filings covering Q1 2024 are likely to better reflect institutions’ attitudes in light of TSLA stock’s more recent woes.

Tesla stock price chart

Tesla’s year-to-date (YTD) price chart hints at the fact that the numerous issues the company has been facing – worker strikes in Scandinavia, Cybertruck battery production issues, and a major slowdown in demand, just to name a few – have finally caught up with the stock of Elon Musk’s EV maker.

TSLA YTD stock price chart. Source: Finbold

Since January 1, TSLA shares are down a full 20.53% with the bulk of the decline taking place in the first month of 2024. Throughout February, Tesla has been trading with significant volatility and even saw some recovery, albeit small enough that the firm is 5.61% in the red in the last 30 days of trading.

Tesla’s most recent performance, however, has been somewhat more positive, and the last 5 days of trading saw Tesla shares rise 4.34%, with the latest full trading day – Thursday, February 22 – seeing them close 1.36% in the green at $197.41. 

TSLA 1-day stock price chart. Source: Finbold

TSLA 2024 outlook

Tesla’s 2024 performance has also, apparently, taken a toll on analyst attitude toward the EV maker and, as of February 23, TSLA stock is overall considered a “hold” with an average price target of $218.75 – which does indicate a degree of persistent bullishness as it constitutes a 10.81% upside compared to the press time price.

Additionally, experts’ attitudes can better be described as mixed than bearish, as 12 analysts out of the 34 taken into account by TipRanks consider it a “buy.” Tesla’s stock also boasts a high 12-month price target of $345, which was maintained by Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) as recently as February 15.

TSLA analyst rating. Source: TIpRanks

Still, 17 experts are neutral on TSLA shares, and 5 consider selling to be the right call, with one – Gordon Johnson, the founder and CEO of GLJ Research – even forecasting a massive crash to $23.53 in 2024 for Tesla’s stock.

Technical analysis (TA) is also proving less than favorable for Tesla Inc. in late February. Data retrieved from TradingView on Friday morning demonstrates that TSLA stock is overall rated as “sell,” with oscillators generally being neutral and moving averages hinting that selling is the wiser option by far.

TSLA technicals. Source: TradingView

The bearish analysis is somewhat less severe when based on the last 24 hours of stock market activity as, with that time frame under consideration, Tesla’s overall rating becomes neutral.

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