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Tesla Falls After Analyst Downgrades Rating to Sell

Tesla Motors Inc., the electric-car maker, fell 3.6 percent after a Wunderlich Securities Inc. analyst cut his rating to sell, saying the company probably will reduce third-quarter production of the Model S sedan. The company said it hasn’t altered its production schedule.

The shares slid to $32.15 at the close in New York. Tesla declined 7.3 percent yesterday, its biggest decline since April 4.

Tesla will pare third-quarter output of the Model S to 500 from 1,000, Theodore O’Neill, a Wunderlich analyst wrote in a report, citing the company. O’Neill lowered his 18-month target price to $28 a share from $49. The analyst had recommended buying the stock.

“Tesla wants to be sure the cars are right and apparently they are not in a position to ramp up to get to 1,000 units this quarter,” O’Neill wrote. “While the company is sticking to its 5,000 unit forecast for 2012, how it gets there becomes a second issue for it to resolve.”

At Telsa, “there’s been no change to our production,” Shanna Hendriks, a company spokeswoman, said by telephone.

Tesla, based in Palo Alto, California, wants to become profitable from sales of the Model S as early as next year. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk has said the company has 10,000 orders for the vehicle and will deliver 5,300 this year and 20,000 in 2013.

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