Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has been on a tear for the last few days after beating second-quarter consensus estimates and then guiding towards an incredible 100,000 run rate in 2015, causing even the more skeptical analysts to raise price targets on the current king of growth stocks. But even if the back-and-forth about the company’s market cap has left you with a bit of Tesla-fatigue (and who could blame you), it’s striking how much the bull case has advanced in just the last month.

Tesla expects 100,000 sales a year faster than last month’s bull case

Back in July you probably saw this ‘mind-boggling’ chart of expected Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) sales over at The Motley Fool claiming that Tesla vehicle deliveries would hit half a million by 2020.

tesla sales potential 0814

This was the bull case, based on Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) press releases and comments from CEO Elon Musk, and it was guiding for deliveries to hit 100,000 in 2016 instead of 2015. So it’s not just that guidance is a little bit higher than the market had been expecting, the current guidance pulls deliveries forward an entire year. Put in those terms you can see why the bulls pushed its price up another 10%.

Tesla bulls expect a lot of things to go right

But this same chart can be used to explain the bears’ pessimism about Tesla. Despite having a strong quarter, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) delivered about 7,600 vehicles in Q2 and guided for another 7,800 units during Q3, while JP Morgan had been expecting 7,800 and 10,000 respectively. At this rate it’s not clear that Tesla will make it to 35,000 deliveries by year’s end. That wouldn’t be a disaster for the company, it’s still supply limited without spending a dime on advertising, but it could mean that the market hasn’t priced any margin for error into a very ambitious growth plan.

Next year’s sales growth is supposed to come from the Model X, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s all-electric SUV, and future earnings growth is expected from the more affordable Model E due out in a couple of years, a fairly optimistic view of what the Gigafactory can accomplish, and expansion into Europe and China. But next quarter’s slightly lowered guidance is a reminder that things don’t always go as planned.

  • the fox

    ” ……the company is desperately promoting the car as much as it can,”

    Desperate? A company that gets free publicity via magazine covers, TV exposure,” as you say. And this is because the news are noteworthy. You just contradicted yourself.

    Tesla will get free news at it paves the way of future car technology.

  • Al Berard

    I cannot believe this writer does NOT know Ford Motor owns the copyright to the Model E , This info has been in many articles the past 2 months. Tesla will be calling the the next model released after next years Model X the Model III .

    That one is due out in 2017 .

  • Mark B. Spiegel

    >> That wouldn’t be a disaster for the company, it’s still supply limited without spending a dime on advertising.<<

    This is a complete myth. Tesla (thanks to Musk and its novel story) probably gets a billion dollars a year worth of free publicity via magazine covers, TV exposure, etc. How additive would a $50 million ad budget be to that? Meanwhile, the company is desperately promoting the car as much as it can; here's a Tweet from yesterday linking to 50 upcoming sales promotion events:

    Tesla Motors




    We've got nearly 50 events coming up, including a couple during the Monterey Car Week: