Telsa Short Interest Inches Up on Model 3 Offering

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Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) has long been the brainchild of Elon Musk, not to mention the target of much analyst criticism and praise. But how do investors feel about this? In the most recent short interest report, Tesla saw the number of its shares short rise to 28.70 million from 28.08 million in the most recent period, a gain of roughly 2%.

Analysts are currently looking at Tesla’s production numbers and whether Musk can drive this company’s bread-and-butter product forward. Considering recent strong orders for Tesla’s Model 3, one independent research firm took this opportunity to issue an updated call on the electric car manufacturer.

Argus last upgraded Tesla to a Buy rating with a $444 price target, implying upside of 25% from its prior closing price of $355.17. The upgrade reflects recent strong orders for the Model 3, which is expected to reach the market in the fourth quarter. The company is currently receiving about 1,800 Model 3 orders per day — without any advertising or other marketing campaigns.

Although the ramp-up of the Model 3 will boost labor and overhead costs in the near term, Argus expects these additional costs to diminish over the course of 2018. As such, the firm believes that Tesla will be able to reach its 25% gross margin target on the Model 3 late next year, in line with the margins already achieved on the Model S and Model X.

There is more to be seen for this stock later this year.

Shares of Tesla were last seen at $352.93, with a consensus analyst price target of $317.29 and a 52-week range of $178.19 to $386.99.