Millennial investors are dumping Tesla ahead of its earnings

Ethel Jiang

Tesla shares have surged 13% this week, but investors on Robinhood, a no-fee trading platform popular among younger investors, are betting that the positive news has been priced in ahead of the company's third-quarter results, which are due out after Wednesday's closing bell.

According to weekly data tracked by Business Insider, Tesla saw the biggest drop in the number of Robinhood investors — with a net of 2,692 investors selling their holdings since last Thursday. Currently, a total of 109,315 investors currently hold Tesla shares, making the electric-car maker the 14th most-popular stock on the app, down one spot from last week.

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The recent rally comes as short seller Andrew Left, who filed a lawsuit against Tesla in September over CEO Elon Musk's taunting of short sellers, did a 180 on the stock and bought shares ahead of the company's crucial third-quarter earnings report.

Left noted that Tesla is "destroying the competition" in the electric-vehicle market, and that Tesla will generate more than enough cash and prove its sustainability in the near term, echoing what Musk has told employees — that the company will achieve profitability this year.

Earlier this month, Tesla said it delivered 55,840 Model 3 sedans in the third quarter, beating its own guidance of 52,425 and Wall Street's expected 55,600. The electric-car maker also said it's on track to deliver 100,000 Model S and Model X vehicles for 2018.

And last week, Tesla announced a lower-priced version of its Model 3 sedan, starting at $45,000. In California, the cheaper model will cost $35,000 after federal and state tax rebates, Musk said.

Now, all eyes are on Tesla's third-quarter earnings report, which was moved up to Wednesday afternoon.

Wall Street analysts surveyed by Bloomberg are expecting an adjusted loss of $0.15 a share, a significant improvement from the previous quarter, on revenue of $6.32 billion. Their average price target is $301 — about 2% above where shares were trading on Tuesday.

Tesla stock was down 6% this year through Tuesday.

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