When a Tesla Critic Becomes a Fan

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One primary reason Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) shares have been under siege is the huge short position in the stock. Investors have been willing to bet on Elon Musk’s volatility as a chance to make money when the stock slips. Some have long-term pessimism about whether Tesla can survive in a world in which positive cash flow and a strong balance sheet are necessary to compete with industry giants. But Tesla got a hand in the short selling part of its problem as a major critic changed his mind.

In a press release, one firm that has argued Tesla cannot survive, wrote: “Citron reverses opinion on Tesla. The story has become too compelling to ignore.” Citron’s new thesis is that Tesla has taken so much of the luxury industry market share that its future is assured.

The firm also argued that Tesla’s new Model 3 will come to dominate the mid-level of the luxury car market. Additionally, its higher-end Model S continues to sell very well. Finally:

Lastly, and this now seems obvious, but Tesla appears to be the only company that can actually produce and sell electric cars. If you would have shown us the below chart five years ago there is no way we would have ever believed it. It looks like it is the competition that is taking the Ambien.

This is not entirely true. Most of the world’s largest car companies have competing products, or will shortly. Some of these vehicles are being designed in partnerships with tech companies that may have more tools than old-line manufacturers who want to successfully enter the business.

Tesla is expected to announce earnings later today. That report will be an early indication of whether Citron is right.