Tesla (TSLA) bull keeps $400 price target, says margins are ‘more solid than they appear’

A snapshot from a drone flyover of the Tesla Fremont factory on June 29, 2018. [Credit: DarkSoldier 360/YouTube]

Tesla shares (NASDAQ:TSLA) recently received some support from one of its most ardent bulls on Wall Street, with Macquarie Research stating in a note on Tuesday that the company’s margins are “more solid than they appear.” Led by Maynard Um, the analysts argued that Tesla is poised to save millions from its cost-cutting measures in the second half of the year. 

Tesla stock was hit by a 14% drop following the release of the company’s second-quarter earnings report, which fell below Wall Street’s estimates. The electric car maker’s shares have shown some recovery since then, ending Tuesday’s up 2.75% at $242.26 per share. 

In a note published on Tuesday, the Macquarie analysts explained that the benefits of Tesla’s ongoing cost-cutting measures “do not appear to be baked into (second-half 2019) forecasts.” The analysts also stated that Tesla’s restructuring actions are likely to result in estimated cost savings of about $130 million for the remainder of 2019. 

Including the restructuring charges that Tesla incurred in the first half of the year, Um and his team forecasted the electric car maker’s expenses to be down around $66 million. Considering that Q2 2019’s gross margins were weighed down by one-off items, the analysts noted that Tesla’s financials would likely improve in the second half of the year.

Overall, “underlying gross margins (are) more solid than they appear,” according to Macquarie. The team also estimated that the Model 3’s second-quarter gross margins were “likely down only marginally” despite the average selling price of the electric sedan falling around $7,000. These, the analysts noted, attest “to the scale benefits Tesla can achieve.” 

Um and his team kept the equivalent of a “Buy” rating and a $400 price target on Tesla stock. This is among the highest in Wall Street, translating to a nearly 70% upside from Tuesday’s prices. 

Amidst the aftermath of the company’s second-quarter earnings, Tesla shares have received some surprising support from a number of notable investors. Among these are former TSLA bear and longtime Shark Tank Judge Kevin O’Leary, who stated that he has personally bought Tesla stock on account of the company’s capability to attract young, bright applicants. Commerzbank AG, a German banking giant, also nearly doubled its stake in the electric car maker during the second quarter. 

As of writing, Tesla stock is trading +0.12% at $242.55 per share.

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

Simon Alvarez: Simon is a reporter with a passion for electric cars and clean energy. Fascinated by the world envisioned by Elon Musk, he hopes to make it to Mars (at least as a tourist) someday.
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