Despite several ups and downs, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) stock has gained a whopping 305% this year so far. The electric carmaker is ramping up its production. Barclays analyst Brian A. Johnson, who recently visited Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s manufacturing facility, says that the company’s sales are likely to exceed its Q4 estimates.
Tesla’s expansion in international markets
However, equity research firm The Oxen Group says that the stock is worth no more than $100, even in the best case scenario. And a realistic view could bring down the stock to $75-$80. To grow further, the company will have to replicate its domestic market success to international markets. Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) aims to touch the Porsche margin, which is around 15%. Considering a 90K sales in 2017 and a Porsche-level margin, the stock’s valuation still doesn’t exceed $100, says The Oxen Group. But the company has several challenges ahead.
Though its U.S. sales have grown about 3600% YoY, international sales are still not very impressive. BMW 7-series was the best-selling luxury car YTD through October. It sold more than 9,000 units in the first ten months of this year. It indicates the car would sell just over 12,000 units through the year. Even if Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s Model S becomes the top luxury car, it is unlikely to sell more than 15K-20K annually. And if the company launches a few more vehicles such as Model X, the figure could go up to 30K-40K. So, it would have to sell 50K-60K in international markets to reach the 90K figure by 2017.
Tesla’s challenges in Europe
Looking at Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s international markets, the company delivered 1,000 vehicles in Europe last quarter. Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) plans to aggressively expand its supercharging network in Europe. Business Insider says the Elon Musk-led company is trying to do something in just a few years that took other automakers several decades. Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is rapidly burning cash to expand its supercharger network.
At the moment, Europe seems to be the best international market for Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA). But the biggest problem there is the network of supercharging stations. Europe is comprised of several small countries. And people there want to go on cross-border trips even on weekend getaways. If consumers have any concern about charging their vehicle in another country or in their own country, they are likely to avoid buying Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s cars.
Even if we assume sales of 90K unit sales, Porsche-level margins in 2017 and average unit price of $70K, the revenues would be around $6.3 billion. This assumes very strong international growth and increase in ASP. The Oxen Group assumed a 10%-12% capex because of aggressive international expansion. If we consider a low tax rate of 15%, and a cap rate of 2.6%, the stock would be worth about $100 in the best case scenario. That represents about 30% downside from the current market price.
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares were down 0.43% to $136.72 at 9:50 AM EST.