Tesla Motors Inc Stock Could Go Even Higher

Tesla Motors Inc Stock Could Go Even Higher

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s growth this year and next depends on deliveries to Asia and, more specifically, China, according to Barclays analysts. They have estimated a breakdown of the automaker’s second quarter deliveries by region and say Tesla could have a challenge in hitting its implied fourth quarter delivery target of 13,000 Model S sedans.

Nonetheless, they think it’s possible that Tesla stock could go higher, carried by news reports that support bullish theses.

Breaking down Tesla’s deliveries by region

In a report dated Sept. 5, 2014, analyst Brian Johnson and his team said they think Tesla Motors delivered between 4,000 and 4,200 units in North America. That’s an 18% to 24% sequential increase but 18% to 22% year over year decline. They estimate that the automaker delivered between 2,450 and 2,550 units in Europe and between 900 and 1,100 units in Asia.

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The Barclays team estimates about 415 deliveries in Europe in July, which they say is “okay” and an increase from 384 in April but a decline from about 1,350 in June. They say sales in the U.K. have been able to offset softening demand in Norway.

They believe deliveries to Europe were probably affected by the production downtime last month, estimating them at about 550 to 600 units. In China, they note that in July, Tesla may have delivered about 304 units, which is much lower than the 532 units in May and the 958 units in June. They’re estimating that for July, Tesla delivered between 500 and 600 units to China.

Will Tesla achieve guidance?

Looking ahead to the third quarter guidance, they say it looks like Tesla’s target is achievable, as it’s for about 7,800 units accounting for factory downtime for upgrades. The Barclays team said to achieve that number, Tesla will only need to modestly increase its China deliveries and offset delayed U.S. and European deliveries.

The problem they see is in the fourth quarter, in which implied guidance is for around 13,000. Even assuming that Tesla ramps up U.S. deliveries and grows in Europe, the Barclays team said meeting fourth quarter guidance will probably require the automaker to deliver between 5,700 and 6,300 units in Asia. Because of this, they say the automaker’s growth both this year and next depends on deliveries to Asia, especially China.

(Graph is courtesy Barclays)

Tesla stock could go higher

The analysts note that Tesla Motors shares have rallied strongly, but they think momentum could carry the automaker’s stock even higher. Over the last four months, the stock has climbed by 57%, compared to the S&P 500’s 7% increase.

They say some investors may be worried about the implied “‘hockey stick’ growth of deliveries” required to meet this year’s guidance. However, they say news about the gigafactory, negotiations with partners in China, demand for the Model X and development of the Model 3 could provide the catalysts necessary to push shares higher.

The Barclays team reiterated their Equal Weight rating and $220 per share price target on Tesla Motors stock.

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