Tesla stock hit a new record high on Monday after the company reported over the weekend that it had delivered more vehicles than analysts had expected during the first quarter. Some analysts boosted their price targets for Tesla stock for that beat, and CEO Elon Musk even trolled short-sellers on Twitter.
The only question now is whether the EV maker’s shares will cross $300 before the day is out.
Tesla stock price target boosted for delivery beat
The company delivered a little over 25,000 vehicles during the first quarter, representing a 69% increase year over year. Tesla is now on pace to meet its goal of delivering 50,000 vehicles during the first half of this year. The company delivered 13,450 Model S sedans and about 11,550 Model X crossovers.
FBN Securities analyst Shebly Seyrafi reiterated his Outperform rating and boosted his price target from $275 to $325 on Tesla stock in a research note dated April 3. He now feels that the company might beat its guide for 50,000 deliveries in the first half of the year and potentially deliver more than 52,000 vehicles. Previously, the company had guided for between 47,000 and 50,000 deliveries in the first half of this year.
Tesla also said that about 4,650 vehicles were in transit to their owners, which means they will be added to the second quarter delivery tally. Seyrafi said that this number represents 17% of his new second quarter delivery estimate of 27,300.
Tesla delivers a Model X surprise
Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas, a perma-bull when it comes to Tesla stock, said in a note dated April 3 that he hadn’t been expecting the company to deliver more than 25,000 vehicles in any quarter this year, and it has already done so in the first quarter. He added that the Model X drove all of the upside surprise, which he found especially surprising because of its high price point and complex features.
He feels the SUV market is especially important for the company’s long-term growth, although he said he wouldn’t be surprised if the Model X’s complex doors are redesigned as soon as possible. However, he also noted that the falcon wing doors are especially significant and their design is important for the vehicle’s body. As a result, he notes that it will take a lot of time and resources to redesign them.
Under-selling to avoid cannibalizing?
The analyst also feels that the company might be “under-selling” the safety features of the Model 3, which is expected to start rolling off the production lines later this year. He noted that the latest Autopilot update showed the car “immersed in a field produced by at least 19 sensors.” A “liquid cooled NVDIA super computer that is 40x more powerful than the original” Autopilot system will analyze the data collected by all those sensors, according to Jonas.
He feels Tesla is downplaying the safety of the Model 3 to avoid cannibalizing its other vehicles that don’t have the new hardware.
Jonas maintained his Overweight rating and $305 price target on Tesla stock, noting that all of the upside toward his price target is for Tesla Mobility, the on-demand transportation service he envisions that doesn’t exist. Given the fact that Tesla stock is closing in on $300 now in the wake of the weekend’s surprise, we could see him raise his price target sometime soon.
Tesla now worth more than Ford
Tesla stock rose by nearly 7%, reaching as high as $297.30 during regular trading hours on Monday. The shares have already set a new intra-day record and are on track for a new closing record high. Today’s gains in Tesla stock pushed the EV maker’s market capitalization past that of Ford, with Elon Musk’s company now having a market cap in excess of $48 billion, compared to Ford’s $45 billion.
That high valuation concerns CFRA analyst Efraim Levy, who maintained his Sell rating on Tesla stock despite the delivery beat, citing the company’s valuation as his main concern. That high valuation has also made the EV maker a prime target of short-sellers, who are probably adding to their positions today. Short-sellers pushed short interest in the name to a new high in January after Jonas upgraded Tesla stock.
Musk is never one to miss an opportunity to rub someone’s nose in it after they bet against him and lose, so he tweeted a greeting to short-sellers today:
Stormy weather in Shortville …
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 3, 2017