Perhaps the company are hoping to gain more attention by titling the note: “It’s Your Standard Bipolar Debate Dripping with Pessimism.” Don’t let that distract you from the Outperform rating they give to Tesla, as well as a $293 price target on shares, down from a previous target of $300. Tesla closed last week at $198.
Bold predictions for Tesla
Pacific Crest writes: “While we are tempering our expectations slightly on FX and Model X gross margins, an on-time Model X, a Model 3 announcement and Gigafactory updates could all send shares meaningfully higher. We think the time to own TSLA is now.”
Despite only selling the Model S right now, Tesla is planning to release the Model X SUV later in the year, as well as making an announcement on the lower-cost Model 3.
The analyst believes that the Model 3 could lead to increased sales for Tesla, following a piece of small-scale market research. The company spoke to over a dozen Tesla owners, and claims there were a “couple of key takeaways commonly heard: (1) you’d be hard pressed to find any product more adored by its owners and (2) the vast majority (like two-thirds to three-quarters) are emphatic that they’d buy another when a lower-priced model is released.”
In simple terms, if you already own a Tesla, you are likely to buy another one.
A polarizing stock which leads to fantastical predictions
The article goes on to summarize the bear and bull camps for Tesla shares. While the bears claim that demand is not sustainable, the Chinese market will not be as profitable as predicted and execution issues will remain a problem, bulls prefer to focus on the long-term opportunity over what they see as recent short-term hiccups.
Tesla is a polarizing stock, with camps split into devout believers and highly skeptical doubters. There are certainly some crazy predictions flying around, with analysts at RW Baird predicting that the Model 3 would sell almost as well as the class-leading BMW 3-series and Audi A4 by 2018. According to them, a car which has not yet been seen in prototype form is a good bet to sell between 215,000 and 290,000 vehicles within 3 years.
Such figures seem to be part of the “standard bipolar debate” which Pacific Crest describes.