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Tesla production better-than-expected but questions linger and stock is still a sell, says Goldman Sachs

The carmaker delivered 83,500 vehicles during the third quarter, beating forecasts on Wall Street
A Tesla electric car.
Tesla is the world's premier producer of electric vehicles.

Tesla Inc's (NASDAQ:TSLA) electric car deliveries in the third quarter came in higher than expected, but questions remain over vehicle demand and the stock remains rated as a Sell, investment bank Goldman Sachs said on Wednesday.

Goldman Sachs analyst David Tamberrino kept his Sell rating for Tesla and a $210 price target after the company's 3Q production numbers.

Shares of Tesla were trading near flat at $300.98 in early trade on Wednesday. 

The electric carmaker said it delivered 83,500 vehicles during the third quarter, beating Wall Street expectations and about 80% higher than all of its deliveries for 2017.

READ: Tesla stock revs up after it delivers 83,500 electric cars in third quarter

Tesla swept past its target of building at least 50,000 Model 3 cars in the third quarter. The company delivered 55,840 of its Model 3 sedans, it said.

Tamberrino said the better production and deliveries were "positive" in the quarter, but he still has questions on demand. 

For the Model 3, Tamberrino said company commentary points to a more limited sustainable demand at the current price point.

READ: Elon Musk's swift settlement with SEC a positive for Tesla but legal risks linger, analysts say

Goldman Sachs reinstated coverage of Tesla in early September after it stopped covering the stock due to its role as a financial adviser at a time when Tesla CEO Elon Musk was pursuing a plan to take the company private.

The plan was abandoned by Musk. He was sued for fraud over accusations he misled investors, but the Tesla CEO settled quickly with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Many analysts either downgraded Tesla or struck a neutral note following the settlement with the SEC.

Citi analyst Itay Michaeli downgraded Tesla to Sell from Neutral and lowered his price target to $225 from $356. JP Morgan analyst Ryan Brinkman reiterated an Underweight rating on Tesla with a $195 price target.

Analysts at Baird were optimistic that Tesla would be able to overcome its woes. Baird analysts Ben Kallo and David Katter wrote last month believe shares would be driven higher by strong fundamentals.

A separate investigation by the Department of Justice and a lawsuit by other investors remain pending. 

Tesla is the world's premier producer of electric vehicles.

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