Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) stock is still up, up and away following a fresh analyst upgrade which carried the EV maker into pole position as the most valuable U.S. automaker. Tesla briefly passed General Motors last week but was quickly passed back up. This time, however, it looks like the higher market capitalization is sticking, at least for now, hurting yet again tesla stock bears.
An even more bullish target for Tesla stock TSLA
Less than two months ago, Morgan Stanley’s $305 price target for Tesla stock seemed out of reach, but now, Piper Jaffray has set a massive $368 price target for it, up from its previous target of $223. Analyst Alexander Potter also upgraded Tesla stock from Neutral to Overweight based on his own experiences with one of the company’s cars.
Tesla stock roared to a new record high of $313.73, rising more than 3% during regular trading hours on Monday and carrying the company’s market cap past $51.3 billion, compared to GM’s market cap of about $50.2 billion. Who knew that the plucky EV maker would be battling GM for the title of most valuable U.S. automaker so relatively early in its life?
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Investors need a “creative” way to value Tesla stock
In his research note dated April 10, Potter said he conducted investor meetings with Tesla last week and is now “finally ready to take a stand.” He added that he has been driving a Tesla for the last seven months in preparation for writing that note. He also admitted that a “‘creative’ valuation methodology” is needed in order to reach his conclusions on Tesla stock and warned that a “bumpy ride” is inevitable.
He feels that the company’s products captivate consumers, shareholders and even employees. He feels that more so than with any other stock he has covered, Tesla “engenders optimism, freedom, defiance, and a host of other emotions that, in our view, other companies cannot replicate.” He also believes that the company’s competitors only look more and more desperate as they try to keep up.
Interestingly, even if the launch of the Model 3 does not go well, he thinks customers and shareholders will “withhold judgment,” although he also warned in the same note that production-related headlines for the car will probably affect the company’s stock multiple. Further, he said setbacks could cause volatility in Tesla stock, although he referred to such volatility as buying opportunities.
Tesla stock bears told their views won’t matter
Potter claims to “sympathize” with Tesla stock bears but adds that their arguments “probably won’t matter.” After all, he notes that the company burns cash faster than companies that are much better established “would likely be crucified for,” especially when taking into consideration its “rickety balance sheet and penchant for raising equity.” It’s true; all of these arguments have been circulating among Tesla stock bears for some time.
The Piper Jaffray analyst notes that the company’s production timelines seem “unreasonably fast” based on expert views and that it tends to ignore norms in the auto industry, such as the dealership sales model it has been battling for years.
TSLA – Elon Musk gets richer, thanks to Piper Jaffray
CEO Elon Musk‘s wealth has ballooned thanks to the sudden rise in Tesla stock over the last couple of weeks. After today’s increase, Bloomberg now pegs his net worth at about $12.9 billion, making him one of the 100 wealthiest people on Earth, according to CNBC. Forbes values his assets differently and estimates his net worth even higher, at about $15.1 billion.
The Bloomberg Billionaires Index indicates that Musk’s net worth has climbed by about $2.21 just this year alone. The fact that he owns about 20% of the EV maker means that its soaring stock price is the direct cause of a large chunk of this increase.