Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) Compared To General Motors A Century Ago

Updated on

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares fell as much as 7 percent today, possibly due to a small bit of negative news regarding the company’s business in Texas. Meanwhile two Forbes contributors are now comparing the EV automaker to General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) back in 1915.

Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) Compared To General Motors A Century Ago

How Tesla Mirrors General Motors

Gil Morales and Chris Kacher drew a number of comparisons between Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) today and General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) in 1915. At that time, GM introduced the V-8 engine, which was an important development within the auto industry in those days.

They point to the failure of other electric car companies to address the lack of infrastructure for electric vehicles, especially in light of Tesla’s announcement last week that it plans to expand its Supercharger network throughout the U.S. and Canada over the next year. They also highlight the luxury aspect of Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s vehicles in comparison with the boxy appearance of other electric vehicles right now.

Morales and Kacher also say that Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s decision to make its EV technology available to other manufacturers is somewhat similar to General Motors Company (NYSE:GM)’s introduction of V-8 engines, which are also used by other automakers.

Tesla’s Stock Action Mirrors GM’s Stock Action

The contributors say what’s even more eerie about Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s similarities with General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) in 1915 is the action of its stock. They showed the steep climb GM’s stock took from 1911 to 1915. The company went public in 1911 and “moved sideways” for approximately two and a half years. Then GM shares rose 129 percent before flattening out until March 1915 when “the real price move” of the stock began.

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) started out sideways in a similar fashion after its 2009 initial public offering. The company’s stock price more than doubled in a month, and it’s fair to argue that shares of Tesla have climbed too far too fast. However, Morales and Kacher say that currently shares of Tesla are trading at 100 times forwards estimates, which is a P/E ratio that’s similar to that of companies which have initiated major changes in technology or concepts, like Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) or eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY).

They also point out that Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s stock move in May was similar to the way GM’s stock moved in 1914 before it hit its real climb in 1915. “Even though General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) had more than doubled in price in 1914, the move that ensued in 1915 went up nearly four more times form there,” they wrote.

Tesla’s Stock Moves Today

Shareholders have been snapping up the automaker’s stock in the wake of its first profitable quarter, but today there may be concern about the company’s loss in Texas. Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has been fighting to protect its direct-to-consumer sales model, and it loss the latest round when its legislation didn’t make it to the floor for Texas lawmakers to vote on.

Tomorrow the company will hold its annual shareholder. There are two items on the agenda for the meeting tomorrow. Shareholders will elect directors and also vote about whether to ratify PricewaterhouseCoopers as Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s independent accounting firm.

Signup to ValueWalk!

Get the latest posts on what's happening in the hedge fund and investing world sent straight to your inbox! 
This is information you won't get anywhere else!