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Tesla Motors Inc Ratings Shift In Light Of New Jersey Ruling

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Consumer Reports magazine just named the Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) Model S the top car for 2014. However, this prestigious title was not enough to budge New Jersey’s final ruling to ban direct sale of Tesla through the company. On Tuesday, the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission voted to ban the direct sales of vehicles in the state, forcing Tesla to sell cars via dealerships. Despite the disappointing news, Robert W. Baird analyst Ben Kallo is still recommending BUY Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), remaining confident in the stock. While Barclays analyst Brian Johnson is acting with caution, recommending HOLD TSLA instead.

Following the recent decision by New Jersey, Ben maintained his BUY rating and $245 price target on Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA). Ben remains confident because Tesla still has plans to open stores in other states  and “its total footprint should grow dramatically by the end of 2014.” And, focusing on the issues within New Jersey, Ben argues that “the NJ decision will affect two stores out of 50-60 total retail locations, and Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) still has several options for challenging the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission’s (NJMVC) decision … Importantly, we do not believe the NJMVC’s decision will significantly affect demand for TSLA’s vehicles, as NJ customers can visit stores in surrounding states or purchase the Model S and Model X online.” Ben is ranked 15 out of 2444 analysts, with a +13.0% average return over S&P-500 and a 91% success rate.

Ben has had success recommending Tesla in the past, including his most recent recommendation to BUY Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) from February. Even though Tesla stock had reached its highest ever closing price before Tesla released its fourth-quarter reports, Ben still recommended BUY TSLA and raised his price target to $215 from $187. Ben is already earning +15.1% over S&P-500 from this recommendation.

When Ben advised BUY Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) in January, he earned an even higher return. Ben raised his rating from HOLD to BUY TSLA when the company achieved its initial target of delivering 25,000 vehicles in 2012 and 2013, beating last year’s forecast for the Model S. Ben earned +26.0% over S&P-500 on this recommendation.

On the other hand, Brian remains cautious of the electric car company, reiterating his HOLD Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) recommendation. Brian noted, “Tesla’s path to margin will be slow though the company believes it can ultimately generate mid-teen op. margins, investors should expect closer to low-mid single digit margins as Tesla invests in its growth.” Brian does see Tesla as a valuable company, but he adds that he has a conservative estimate of the company’s grid storage opportunity, “seeing a valuation boost of 20% to 25% instead of the double that some expect.” Brian is ranked 1667 out of 2444 analysts, with a -1.4% average return over S&P-500 and a 64% success rate of recommended stocks.

While Tesla may not be happy with the recent New Jersey ruling, analysts are still confident in the company and recommend BUY or HOLD. To continue following these analyst recommendations be sure to download TipRanks, and start making informed financial decisions with advice you can trust.

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