Tesla’s potential as electric car supplier prompts $1.2k TSLA bull case

A Tesla employee at the company's facility in Fremont, California. (Credit: YouTube/RoadShow)

Tesla’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) potential to serve as a battery supplier for other automotive companies has encouraged Wall Street to raise its price target for the electric car maker. In a recent note, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas updated his bull case for Tesla to $1,200 per share, a far cry from his previous $650.

Jonas nearly doubled his bull case on Tuesday after recognizing the company’s ability to become a key supplier for electric car makers. With Tesla’s reported acquisition of multiple battery research companies and partnerships with other organizations like China-based CATL, the task of becoming a main battery supplier for EVs is not necessarily far fetched.

TSLA closed at $800.03 on Friday and did not trade on Monday due to the American President’s Day Holiday. Yet TSLA shares rose sharply on Monday’s pre-market following Jonas’ upgrade. Tesla would need to rise a further 50% to reach Morgan Stanley’s new target, but he believes it is plausible as Tesla could win 30% of the global electric car market. The analyst noted this was an “aggressive assumption” in his report.

To reach these figures, Jonas stated that Tesla would need to deliver 4 million cars by 2030 and prove to the market that it has the capability to supply powertrains, batteries, and electric motors to other car manufacturers. Tesla’s biggest year was 2019 where they delivered 367,500 cars over twelve months. With the addition of both the Model Y crossover and the Cybertruck, achieving the delivery goal may very well be feasible.

Toni Sacconaghi, an analyst for Bernstein, also raised his price target for TSLA from $325 to $730. Sacconaghi was vocal about the “extremely unusual” rise in Tesla stock price after its surge but has seemed to accept the idea that the company may be “sustainably profitable.” He is still slightly uneasy about justifying Tesla’s current share price, but with the Model 3’s steady demand, and company’s gross margins and operating expenses improving, $730 was certainly understandable.

Sacconaghi wrote a note to clients that stated “Tesla is the ultimate ‘possibility’ stock,” and could grow its addressable market by more than 30-fold in the next 20 years. If Tesla shares were to drop 50%, its market could still grow 15 times within the two-decade time frame.” Sacconaghi maintained his Hold-equivalent rating for the electric car maker.

Tesla’s meteoric rise since its breakthrough Q3 2019 earnings could be attributed to a variety of things, including some shorts exiting their positions, Giga Shanghai’s faster-than-expected delivery of the Model 3, or even investors all trying to get a piece of the Tesla pie.

As of writing, Tesla stock is trading +6.09% at $848.78 per share. 

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

Tesla’s potential as electric car supplier prompts $1.2k TSLA bull case
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