Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares are rising again today, gaining as much as 6 percent on the heels of a positive report from analysts at Jefferies. They almost doubled their price target for the stock and raised their estimates for the EV automaker.


Likely Upside To Tesla Shipments

There’s been speculation about whether Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) will be able to deliver the 21,000 vehicles it guided for this year. Jefferies analysts Elaine Kwei and Peter Nesvold said in their report that they see the possibility for an upside to the company’s guidance.

They point to LMC Automotive, which lists Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) as selling 7,747 Model S sedans through May of this year. Jefferies annualized that amount, which puts the automaker to sell almost 19,000 vehicles ust in the U.S. They said they also looked at the VIN numbers which are being reported on the Model S and note that customers are reporting them in the 16,000 range. They believe this means that about 12,000 to 13,000 vehicles have been built by Tesla so far this calendar year after backing out its 2012 production.

An Increase In Tesla Estimates And Price Target

Kwei and Nesvold note that the 21,000 vehicle guidance provided by Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) this year includes international shipments, so there is a chance for there to be upside. They also believe that the company could “flex up its stated single-shift production of 20,000 units annually by up to 20 percent.”

The Jefferies analysts increased their second quarter delivery estimate for Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) to 5,000 units from their previous estimate of 4,500 units. They raised their 2013 estimate to 21,500 units from 19,800 units. They also increased their price target from $70 per share to $130 per share.

Tesla: An Incredible Growth Story

The analysts say even though shares of Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) have skyrocketed since the beginning of the year, they believe the automaker is “one of the best growth stories in the market today.” They see even further upside because of its topline growth from 2,000 to 20,000 units to 200,000 units. They also note that short interest has dropped from a high of 46 percent of the float in March to 26 percent as of mid-June.

They see more positive catalysts ahead, possibly including higher Model S sales, better margins, gas price increases, the company’s first European deliveries and more powertrain agreements with other manufacturers.