Longtime Tesla bull Dan Ives of Wedbush Securities has been pretty vocal about his reservations surrounding CEO Elon Musk’s Twitter activities and their potentially adverse effects on TSLA stock. But while Ives has expressed his concerns about Musk and his leadership of Twitter, the analyst has maintained an overall bullish stance on the EV maker.
Ives has a $175 per share price target and an “Outperform” rating for Tesla, and in a recent note, Ives stated that CEO Elon Musk must initiate a number of actions to ensure that the negative sentiments surrounding the company are addressed in 2023. These actions cover several decisions surrounding Musk’s activities on both Twitter and Tesla. Among these actions is Musk naming a CEO for Twitter by the end of next month.
Ives also highlighted that Musk must focus his attention back on Tesla, and he must also stop selling stock carelessly. The Wedbush analyst noted that Musk must formally adopt a 10b5-1 plan. This way, Tesla investors would not be caught off guard by the CEO’s TSLA stock sales. Perhaps most importantly, Ives also argued that Musk’s political statements are affecting Tesla and the EV sector negatively.
Following are Ives’ suggestions.
Top 10 Actions Musk Needs to Do at Tesla/Twitter in 2023
- Name a CEO of Twitter by the end of January.
- Stop selling stock and no more boy that cried wolf or Pinocchio situation. Formally adopt a 10b5-1 plan so investors know there is no major selling block around the corner as Musk sold roughly $40 billion of TSLA stock the past year.
- Lay out conservative 2023 delivery and targets given the darker macro. The 50% growth target is not happening in our opinion, with 35%+ delivery growth a more hittable and realistic goal for 2023.
- Focus attention back on Tesla, not Twitter (goes hand in hand with new Twitter CEO being named). Musk is the hearts and lung of Tesla and vice versa.
- Announce Cybertruck deliveries will hit the road by the end of 2023. Timing is key here with competition from all angles and worries production woes will push this into 2024. Giga Austin is up and running and now key to hitting this next growth endeavor for Tesla.
- Board of Directors changes with some more experience around tech and EV leadership. We believe new additions to the Board would be welcomed by the Street at this tenuous time.
- Buybacks, Buybacks, Buybacks. Announcing a major stock buyback program is important/key for the Street’s confidence and with the stock at these levels a no brainer strategic move in our opinion for Tesla given its massive treasure chest.
- More financial metrics and transparency around the margin structure at Tesla. We believe this is a hidden gem at the company with more production/sales in China and Giga Berlin and Austin ramping. Long term margin targets will be key for the Street.
- The more political on Twitter that Musk becomes is a bad thing for selling EV cars to the masses. It’s that simple and this remains a key investor concern.
- Lay out the strategic plan for Twitter. Right now very simply the fear is Twitter is bleeding money with advertisers fleeing (for now) which means more losses and therefore more Musk TSLA stock sales. Once a new CEO is in place lay out the 3- year strategy of Twitter and what this can become, Super App, “X”, WeChat 2.0, etc.
Ives’ 10 suggestions for Elon Musk have been received quite well on social media, with some Tesla bulls noting that the actions were sound and logical. Others, however, have noted that Tesla would be fine even if Musk does not follow any of Wedbush’s suggestions, as the electric vehicle maker’s fundamentals remain strong.
Disclosure: Maria holds TSLA shares.