Tesla stock passed a major milestone on Tuesday when it soared past $300 a share, driven by the news of better-than-expected first quarter deliveries. Today, the shares are just barely holding on to $300 by their proverbial fingernails as Wall Street debates the level of ridiculousness that’s going on. Tesla is now battling General Motors for the title of most valuable U.S. automaker by market capitalization with a mere $1.5 billion separating them (as of this writing, anyway). The EV maker briefly surpassed GM on Tuesday but was quickly overtaken again.
Even the company’s biggest fans are wondering how Tesla stock got so high so soon.
“Surprised” by Tesla stock
In a research note dated April 5, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas said he was “pretty surprised” by how soon Tesla stock reached the $300 mark, and let’s keep in mind that he has an Overweight rating and a price target of $305 per share, one of the highest on Wall Street, if not the highest. With Tesla stock up over $300, he’ll have to face the choice of raising his price target or downgrading it.
He notes that most commentary focuses on the company as an automaker, but he feels that the sooner investors see it as a “transportation/ infrastructure company rather than as just a car company, the more we believe the industry events to come over the next 12 to 18 months will make sense.” He feels that Tesla’s total addressable market, including everything he expects its ecosystem to eventually cover, is trillions of dollars, including the light vehicle and mobility market, which he values at $10 trillion, and the smaller logistics and energy markets.
Investors catching on to his vision?
He also envisions “a potential multi-trillion market captured in the 600bn hours of consumer time spent in cars in the form of content delivery and data monetization.” He feels that investors are recognizing his vision of what the company can be much faster than he had expected, adding that the last time Tesla stock reached a record high, it was September 2014 and “very few” investors “appreciated Tesla’s relevance in automated/ autonomous transport and shared mobility model.”
He expects the company to continue pushing safety boundaries at a time when distracted driving is becoming a bigger and bigger threat. Just recently, he suggested that the Model 3 could be 10 times safer than other cars on the road, and he feels that Tesla is downplaying this safety to avoid cannibalizing its current vehicles.
An “epic short squeeze” in Tesla stock?
Short interest in Tesla stock has been rising steadily, and it’s probably still rising today. InvestorPlace contributor Tim Biggam feels that the shares are running on fumes. He noted that it’s pointless to argue fundamentals, describing Tesla stock as “the ultimate faith-based stock.”
After all, the company said it delivered about 25,000 vehicles during the first quarter, beating the consensus by 800 cars and triggering a 26-point rally in its stock. He explained that with a $50 billion market cap, it has a value of $100,000 per car next year—assuming it delivers the 500,000 cars it hopes to deliver next year.
Biggam notes that much of this week’s rally in Tesla stock may be “an epic short squeeze” and even pointed to Tesla CEO Elon Musk‘s mocking tweet poking fun of short-sellers.
“Stormy weather in Shortville,” he wrote earlier this week.
Biggam feels this is a contrarian sign indicating a top in Tesla stock.
“Considering the past history of financial shenanigans in the SolarCity deal and the continued dilution of the stock through capital raises, an orchestrated short squeeze may have been in the offing for a while,” he wrote. “Now that the squeeze has gotten to an extreme, there may be little juice left to wring out of Tesla stock.”
Tesla stock at $320?
And yet, some, like Evercore ISI technician Rich Ross, feel there’s still more gas left in the tank. He sees a short-term breakout for Tesla stock to $320 based on the weekly stock chart dating all the way back to 2013. He told CNBC that he sees a “very bullish decisive breakout” carrying it even further up.
“Let’s call it $280 on the high end, $180 on the low end, you tack $100 on top … that gets you to $380 over time,” he told CNBC. “So, [for] Tesla, there’s still food on the table here. I still like this stock.”
Shares of Tesla stock fell by as much as 1.08% to $300.43 during regular trading hours on Wednesday.