Why These Two Analysts See Massive Upside for Tesla

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Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) has faced a rough 2019 with a fatal autopilot accident and some analysts calling for its demise, but this could all change, according to a couple of different reports that became public on Friday.

Although it’s hard for analysts to agree all the time, especially on a company like Tesla, some analysts came out in favor of this Electric Vehicle (EV) manufacturer. While each of these analysts are calling for upside, one’s view is clearly more pronounced than the other’s.

Jefferies reiterated a buy rating, but lowered its price target on Tesla to $300 from $400, implying an upside of 82% from the most recent closing price of $219.62. Jefferies said it sees value in Tesla’s technology, but added that the company’s financial performance is likely to remain volatile in the near term.

Jefferies wrote:

Fresh from a visit of Fremont, we feel confident demand concern is excessive and industrial efficiency improving. Financial performance should remain volatile in coming quarters as manufacturing and model range expand. We cut estimates and 12-month PT [price target] to reflect that. We continue to see value in Tesla’s technology lead (powertrain and AV [autonomous-vehicle] development) and focus on increasingly affordable price points in an industry vs other OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] in a zero/negative EV sum game.

Separately, Baird reiterated an outperform rating and raised its price target on Tesla to $355 from $340, implying an upside of 62%. Ultimately, the firm noted that it sees several catalysts that could drive Tesla shares higher.

Baird said:

Reiterate outperform rating and raising price target to $355. We like the set-up for the balance of the year, as we think expectations have overshot to the negative and we believe there are several catalysts upcoming which could drive shares higher (beginning with the upcoming delivery release). Additionally, we have noticed bear arguments have preemptively shifted from demand to profitability. A solid Q2 [second-quarter] delivery announcement could set up a positive cash flow quarter and set the stage for share appreciation in the second half of 2019.

So far in 2019, Tesla has underperformed the broad markets with its stock down 34% year to date. In the past 52 weeks, the stock is down closer to 38%.

Shares of Tesla were last seen at $219.65, with a 52-week range of $176.99 to $387.46. The stock has a consensus analyst price target of $280.31.

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