Tesla Motors Inc Stock Headed To $500: Longboard

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Tesla stock is going to double by the end of this year, according to Longboard Asset Management CEO Cole Wilcox. In an interview with Matt Miller of Bloomberg, Wilcox said even though his firm stayed away from the stock for a while, he would rather be a bull than a bear on Tesla right now. He cited five reasons that could potentially fuel the stock toward $500: short squeeze, growth momentum, Model X, energy innovation, and the company’s PR strategy.

Is Tesla the next Apple?

The Longboard CEO said the upcoming Model X would turn Tesla into the next Apple. The Palo Alto-based company has already received more than 24,000 pre-orders for the next-gen SUV. Repeated delays in the launch of Model X have had little impact on consumer enthusiasm. Cole Wilcox said Model X was a “make or break” product. Tesla would not launch it unless the vehicle has everything it takes to delight customers.

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Tesla’s is scheduled to launch Model X in September. Elon Musk said earlier this month that Model X would double the company’s sales. The next-gen SUV crossover boasts of “ludicrous speed” that would allow it to go from zero to 60mph in just 3.3 seconds. It also features all-wheel drive (AWD) and Falcon Wing doors. The vehicle will initially be sold in the United States. Other markets like China and Australia will get it in 2016.

GE may challenge Tesla in energy storage

Wilcox believes that Tesla’s energy storage solution Powerwall will be as revolutionary as the Internet because the world is shifting to renewable energy. However, Tesla shares fell more than 4% on Monday after Reuters reported that General Electric was looking to become a major player in the energy storage sector. GE’s entry will pose a serious threat to Tesla’s dominance.

As many as three major investment banks have downgraded Tesla this month. Pacific Crest has downgraded the stock from Overweight to Sector weight, while Deutsche Bank changed its rating to Hold from Buy due to extremely high valuations. UBS analysts have also downgraded the stock to Sell from Neutral and reduced their price target from $220 to $210.

Tesla shares rose 0.94% to $255.38 in early trading session Tuesday.