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Tesla shares pop amid upbeat sentiment on energy business, Model 3 production

Tesla shares (NASDAQ:TSLA) are up 6.42% on Wednesday’s intraday, trading at $309.85 per share amid positive sentiments over the company’s capability to meet its Model 3 production targets for Q2 2018 and its growing energy business.

During Tesla’s recently-held 2018 Annual Shareholder Meeting, Elon Musk revealed that the Model 3 line is currently producing a steady rate of 3,500 vehicles per week. Due to a recent set of upgrades, Musk stated that Tesla would likely hit its target of producing 5,000 Model 3 per week by the end of the second quarter.

“Despite a lot of difficulties, all parts of the Model 3 production system have demonstrated a 500 car per day capability or a 3,500 per week capability. We just did a big set of upgrades, and it’s quite likely that we will achieve a 5,000 car a week (production rate) by the end of this month,” Musk said.

Apart from assuring investors that the Model 3 line is steadily approaching its production goal, Musk also discussed what could very well be the dark horse of Tesla’s ecosystem — its energy business. During the Annual Shareholder Meeting, Musk reiterated a recent report stating that the company has deployed a total of 1GWh of energy storage worldwide to date. Addressing the attendees of the meeting, Musk noted that Tesla’s energy projects would only get bigger every year.

“In less than a year from now, we will do another Gigawatt (project). The rate of stationary storage deployment is going to grow exponentially. For many years to come, each incremental year will be about as much as all the preceding years, which is a crazy, crazy growth rate,” Musk said.

The updates provided by Elon Musk and the company’s executives during the Annual Shareholder Meeting appear to have struck a note of confidence for the company’s investors. During Wednesday’s pre-market trading, Tesla stock surged almost 4%, and it only continued to rise from there.

In a recent note, Baird analyst Ben Kallo reiterated his “Outperform” rating on Tesla stock, citing the company’s positive expectations for the Model 3 and its expectation to achieve positive GAAP net income and cash flow by Q3 and Q4 2018, according to a MarketWatch report. Kallo also mentioned the re-election of three board members as a vote of confidence in Tesla’s management, adding that the company’s energy storage business is an “opportunity” that is currently “underappreciated” by some investors.

A Tesla Model 3 being assembled. [Credit: Tesla]

“While we do not model GAAP profitability for conservatism, we believe TSLA will be able to achieve sustainable operating cash flow and operating profit in the intermediate-term, which would be a significant catalyst, in our opinion. Shareholders approved the re-election of the board of directors by a significant margin, which we believe provides a vote of confidence in management,” Kallo wrote.

In an interview with CNBC News, ARK Invest analyst Sam Korus echoed Kallo’s positive sentiment about Tesla’s energy business, stating that the company’s progress in its battery technology could very well make Tesla around two years ahead of the competition.

“Everyone is so focused on the short-term, but on long-term goals, they are actually ahead of schedule. One of the biggest things that came out of yesterday was Elon Musk said that for battery cells, they could be at below $100 per kilowatt-hour by the end of this year. If you look at analyst reports just three years ago, that cost for battery cells would’ve been unheard of. This puts Tesla roughly two years ahead of the competition when it comes to battery costs and technology,” Korus said

As of writing, Tesla shares are trading up 6.42% at $309.85 per share. 

Disclosure: I have no ownership in shares of TSLA and have no plans to initiate any positions within 72 hours.

Tesla shares pop amid upbeat sentiment on energy business, Model 3 production

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