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Why Tesla, Coherent, and iRobot Slumped Today

Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool

Wall Street suffered another bout of severe anxiety on Thursday, helping to send major benchmarks down around 4% and revisiting the levels they saw at their worst moments during Monday's massive sell-off. Market participants again focused on the bond market's rapid rise in yields, and some also noted that it was important for short-term traders to make multiple tests of levels that are roughly 10% below record highs to see if the market can bounce or needs to fall further. There were plenty of losing stocks in the market, but some companies had especially noteworthy declines. Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA), Coherent (NASDAQ: COHR), and iRobot (NASDAQ: IRBT) were among the worst performers on the day. Below, we'll look more closely at these stocks to tell you why they did so poorly.

Tesla drives slower

Shares of Tesla fell nearly 9% after the electric-car specialist reported its fourth-quarter financials. Investors focused on the company's worst loss in history on a GAAP basis and its forecast for continued cash burn during the first quarter as Model 3 production ramps up. Yet the company said that it's on pace to reach weekly production of about 2,500 Model 3 vehicles and noted that adjusted losses were less than expected. Bullish investors are hopeful that Tesla can quickly reach 5,000 cars per week in order to make good on its delivery commitments more quickly and get cash flow moving in the right direction.

Overhead shot of red Model 3

Image source: Tesla.

Coherent loses momentum

Coherent stock plunged 17% in the wake of the company's fiscal first-quarter financial report. The laser specialist posted solid year-over-year gains in revenue and profits, but investors seemed disturbed by the fact that sequential results sagged compared to how the company performed in the fiscal fourth quarter three months earlier. Coherent CEO John Ambroseo noted that "there has been a lot of turbulence in the display market" recently but that the company's own channel check showed no signs of delayed or canceled orders. Still, shareholders seemed skeptical, and even a $100 million buyback authorization wasn't enough to lift interest in the stock.

iRobot shuts down

Finally, shares of iRobot plummeted 32%. The consumer-robot maker had another strong quarter of growth, including gains of more than 50% in revenue, and earnings climbed after accounting for a one-time negative impact from tax reform measures. Yet shareholders weren't happy with iRobot's guidance, which included weaker earnings projections than they had anticipated. Investors seem to agree with the company that the market for consumer-oriented robots -- including both the existing vacuum market and new areas -- is vast, but they disagree on whether iRobot is doing everything it can to capitalize on its opportunity.

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Dan Caplinger has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends iRobot and Tesla. The Motley Fool owns shares of Coherent. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.