Tesla stock volatile amid market swings, cybertruck delay, Dogecoin experiment

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Tesla (TSLA) stock is mostly flat on Friday as of midday trading amid a volatile week for the electric vehicle giant and the wider market.

Tesla shares closed more than 6% lower on Thursday amid an overall market-sell off with tech and momentum stocks getting hit over the possibility of Fed rate hikes starting in March. 

Questions about the timeline of Tesla’s much anticipated Cybertruck began to surface this week. Limited production of the vehicle is now expected to begin in the first quarter of 2023, according to a Reuters report on Thursday, after production was originally slated to start late this year. The delay is due to changing Cybertruck features and functions amid incoming competition.

People take pictures of the newly unveiled all-electric battery-powered Tesla’s Cybertruck with shattered windows after a failed resistance test, at Tesla Design Center in Hawthorne, California on November 21, 2019. (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

Ford (F) recently announced it will nearly double production capacity to meet demand for its upcoming F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck. The Lightning is seen as a possible competitor to the Cybertruck.

Crypto is also a small factor for Tesla: CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the company is now accepting Dogecoin (DOGE) payments for some merchandise. That sent the price of the meme token 18% higher to around $0.20.

Musk has been vocal about crypto in the past: In December, he announced the company would begin offering some merchandise buyable with Doge. The token shot up 20% that day as well.

Analysts have been increasingly bullish on the electric vehicle giant, even as the Federal Reserve signals reducing its balance sheet and possible rate hikes this year. Higher interest rates generally tend to impact growth stock valuations.

Wedbush’s Dan Ives predicts Tesla will hit a $2 trillion market capitalization in about 18 months. The company hit $1 trillion in valuation for the first time in October of last year.

“Ford’s gonna be successful at GM, Lucid, VW in Europe and of course, NIO in China, but overall in EV land it’s Tesla’s world,” Ives told Yahoo Finance this week.

On Tuesday, Goldman Sachs analyst Mark Delaney raised his 12-month price target on Tesla to $1,200 and maintained a Buy rating, citing “robust 4Q21 deliveries.” The stock currently trading around $1,030 per share.

“We expect Tesla to expand margins in the intermediate term as it ramps the important Model Y product as well as new factories in Berlin, Germany and Austin, Texas, and in the long term as it increases its mix of software revenue,” Delaney wrote in a note to investors. 

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