Tesla Investor Day on March 1 will be a key factor in furthering the company’s stock growth, Morgan Stanley said in a new note to investors.
While Tesla stock (NASDAQ: TSLA) continues to rebound after a sluggish 2022, Morgan Stanley is undoubtedly impressed with the automaker’s recovery in 2023. However, the firm, led by analyst Adam Jonas, said the “window of opportunity” has closed in terms of valuation, and Tesla will need to present something relatively substantial at its Investor Day event in March:
“While we reiterate the Overweight rating on Tesla shares, we believe the window of opportunity on ‘valuation’ has closed. Further upside from here will require a more substantial narrative change following the March 1st Investor Day.”
Tesla has utilized its leverage in high margins to adjust prices accordingly in 2023, which has undoubtedly surged the company’s demand. Tesla has never had a demand problem, according to CEO Elon Musk, just a supply issue as the company has struggled to keep up with its evergrowing order log.
Despite this, Tesla made moves with its pricing early in 2023, cutting Model Y marks by $13,000. Other cars had price cuts as well, and Tesla even adjusted its figures in other markets, like China, which saw a 13.5 percent decrease after the New Year.
With the Model Y’s entire lineup recently being included in the IRS’s list of vehicles qualifying for federal tax incentives, it gives buyers even more reason to purchase the car. However, an increase in demand is not what Morgan Stanley is looking for.
Invitations for the March 1st Investor Day were sent out earlier this week, and the casting design featured on the invites triggered a variety of theories and guesses as to what the main sentiment of the event will be. However, whatever it is, Morgan Stanley and Jonas said in their note that potential catalysts stemming from the Master Plan Part 3 would have to give investors another layer of belief that substantial growth is possible moving forward.
Even still, the note also entails that, while Tesla may need something relatively groundbreaking moving forward to justify another spike in valuation, the company still maintains a healthy lead over its competitors.
Jonas notes that Tesla shares are up 68 percent this year, while Lucid and Rivian are up 51 and 5 percent, respectively. “Tesla will, short term, invest their margin into price (lower) while, longer term, we expect Tesla will invest their innovation into margin.”
Additionally, Jonas stated that Tesla has specific leverage over competitors:
“At the same time, we remain concerned about the ability of EV competitors (startups and legacy players) to withstand the cost and scale advantages Tesla enjoys as it continues to drive prices lower and share higher in a potential shakeout for the EV industry.”
Companies like Ford, Lucid, and others have also adjusted prices to keep up with Tesla, while companies like Volvo, Volkswagen, and General Motors have denied that price cuts are the answer to compete with the EV leader. Regardless of the pricing strategies the companies employ, Tesla is likely still the most suitable options in terms of charging infrastructure, as well as EV software and tech.
Morgan Stanley reiterated its ‘Overweight’ rating with a $220 price target.
Disclosure: Joey Klender is a TSLA Shareholder.