Written by Brenda Nakalema

Tesla’s Annual Meeting Starts Today. What to Watch For.

Tesla’s (ticker: TSLA) large base of retail investors love hearing from management and CEO Elon Musk. On Thursday, they get …

Tesla’s (ticker: TSLA) large base of retail investors love hearing from management and CEO Elon Musk. On Thursday, they get another chance.

Tesla hosts its 2022 annual meeting with shareholders Thursday, beginning at 5:30 p.m. E.T, and it will be live streamed from the company’s website.

Investors and analysts will be hoping to hear about production, demand, and pricing.

The company announced it produced a record number of vehicles in June and that the company is speeding up the production at its new plants in Germany and Texas. Investors will want to know how the production level is being handled amidst supply chain issues and the shortage of semiconductor chips.

Musk has commented that Tesla can sell all the vehicles it can make. In addition, he has also gone ahead to say that lead times to purchase a Tesla- which typically goes as far as 8 or 9 months, depending on the model ordered- are too long. Investors will be looking to hear about a strategy to shorten these lead times, especially given the rising prices and rising interest rates.

However, it seems that prices might not necessarily continue rising. Musk recently tweeted that commodity prices are dropping. That could presage a pricing peak or perhaps a price cut. Investors would like to know which direction prices are heading in 2023. Bears will likely argue that any price cuts signal a diminished demand, while bulls might predict that falling prices will boost sales and ordering rates.

Aside from price, production, and demand, investors will be interested in any news about Tesla’s next plant or product.

Tesla Inc. 2022 Annual Meeting of Stockholders

When at full production capacity, Tesla can produce roughly 2.1 million units annually from its four plants, with enough room to expand further to roughly 2.4 million units with incremental improvements. Wall Street expects Tesla to deliver roughly 2.1 million vehicles in 2023. The company plans to grow production volumes at 50% annually on average for the foreseeable future. There’s likely to be another plant, or a significant expansion of an existing facility, by the middle of next year.

Annual meetings are typically considered tedious affairs, but Tesla’s tend to be a bit more interesting. Tesla stock is heavily owned among retail investors. This tends to guarantee higher engagement at such events such as analyst conference calls and annual meetings- more than other firms. For instance, Tesla takes calls from both investors and Wall Street analysts each quarter.

Tesla stock dropped 13% year to date. A better performance than the 20% comparable decline of the Nasdaq Composite (ticker: COMP) and similar to the 14% drop of the S&P 500 at 1.56%.