Tesla (TSLA) investors woke up to a healthy dose of green this morning after Morgan Stanley upgraded the Silicon Valley-based electric car maker’s rating to an overweight, citing a “surprisingly supportive political environment”, improved outlook for Model 3 launch and less competition. Analysts from Morgan Stanley raised Tesla’s price target to $305 from $242, and set a higher earnings prediction for fiscal year 2018.
The upgrade follows the recent announcement that Tesla’s massive Gigafactory facility in Sparks, Nevada will be expanding production to motors and drive units for the company’s highly anticipated mass market Model 3 sedan. Morgan Stanley analysts see a “soft” launch at the end of this year, followed by a significant production volume ramp in 2018.
Morgan Stanley reports that Tesla has a lead in the self-driving space and reduced risk from Google after the technology giant shifted focus away from its self-driving car project.
Also noted by Morgan Stanley is Tesla’s ties with a “surprisingly supportive political environment”. This is in large part a reference to CEO Elon Musk’s recent meetings with President-elect Donald Trump, reportedly to discuss the topic of American job creation. Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum (SPF) announced that it has included Musk, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, and PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi as members of the advisory council.
Tesla stock was up 4% in premarket trading before leveling down to 3%. The stock is currently trading at $245.56 (+3.02%).