Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares closed at $197.81 on Tuesday, their lowest level since May 20. From their record-high of $286.04 on Sept. 4, shares of the EV maker are down nearly a third, says a report from MarketWatch. What’s surprising is that none of the major research houses have downgraded the stock, and analysts remain confident on the company. So we could say that the fall probably has nothing to do with Tesla but can be attributed to falling energy prices.
Tesla enjoys analyst support
Tesla shares, which have been down mostly since Nov. 28, have had their worst two-week stretch since November 2013. Bearish signs were evident last week when the stock chart made a “head-and-shoulders” pattern, signaling an upcoming drop. Despite the recent decline, Tesla has gained 33% this year so far compared to a gain of 7.7% for the S&P 500 Index and a loss of .3% for the Russell 2000 Index.
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Tesla enjoys a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $270.75 per share. Analysts are confident on the automaker, which is making efforts to expand in markets other than North America and Europe. Also after the completion of the so-called gigafactory, the EV maker is positioned well to become a mass producer of batteries.
Are energy prices to be blame?
Tesla shares are moving in tandem with energy prices, but fundamentally, there is no change in the company, said Ascendiant Capital Markets analyst Theodore O’Neill. The analyst believes the company’s shares are trapped between low energy prices and an end-of-the year sell-off. It is largely believed that investors are concerned about low crude futures and retail gasoline prices, which will likely reduce demand for clean energy and, in turn, for electric cars as well.
O’Neil believes such thinking could work for buyers of cheaper, mid-size electric cars like the Chevrolet Volt or the Nissan Leaf, but he doesn’t think it will work for Tesla buyers, who are an elite class who “don’t buy a Model S to save money.” Ascendiant Capital Markets has a Buy rating on Tesla with a price target of $320 per share, which represents a 60% upside from Tuesday’s closing price.
Tesla is considered a volatile stock, as it highly favored by short sellers and retail investors, who are seen to be more sentimentally driven than institutional investors, said Carter Driscoll, an analyst with MLV Co. Driscoll, who has a Buy rating on the automaker with a price target of $300.