Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) shares made a handy gain on Monday after an analyst came out in favor of the electric vehicle (EV) company. While analysts seem to be split down the middle on this stock, with most having either a Buy or a Sell rating, Canaccord Genuity makes a great case for a rally.
Canaccord Genuity upgraded Tesla to a Buy rating from Hold and raised its price target to $450 from $330, implying an upside of 47% from the most recent closing price of $305.80.
The brokerage firm believes the past two quarters and recent guidance for the first quarter have removed significant concerns for both production capability and profitability of the critical Model 3. As such, Canaccord Genuity sees a more stable 2019 with far fewer concerns for investors in the company.
Also the recent string of price cuts was further proof that the cost-cutting and right-sizing the company has undertaken are resulting in concrete movement toward the ultimate goal of an affordable $35,000 Model 3.
With strong shipments into the European Union and China, Canaccord Genuity expects that the initial “tiny profit” first-quarter expectation that the company announced in early January will prove to be the low point in earnings for the year and that the ramp toward year-end may quell the short thesis.
Prior concerns around corporate governance seem to be allayed with the addition of Larry Ellison and Kathleen Wilson-Thompson as independent directors, and many believe that CEO Elon Musk is demonstrating a calmer demeanor characteristic of strong leaders.
In addition, Canaccord Genuity views Tesla’s coveted autopilot technology as having an almost insurmountable lead in autonomous driving, which eventually will be the key component of future transportation.
On the other hand, Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas came out with a report on Monday calling Tesla’s EV market “unsustainable.” Instead, Jonas is plugging a “clean sheet” start-up EV firm Rivian. He said Morgan Stanley has a “strong belief that all-electric vehicle architecture will need a truly ‘clean sheet’ approach” to take on Tesla, rather than “adapting existing legacy [original equipment manufacturer] architecture.”
Shares of Tesla were last seen up about 3% at $314.17 on Monday, in a 52-week range of $244.59 to $387.46. The consensus analyst price target is $328.71.
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