Investor's Corner

Tesla (TSLA) shares surge 20% in a week, gaining $9 billion since lows

After getting battered in the week leading up to the release of its Q1 delivery and production report, Tesla shares (NASDAQ:TSLA) have rebounded, surging 20% in three days since hitting its 52-week low.

Tesla’s recovery in the stock market is quite remarkable, considering that TSLA shares have shown a meteoric rise despite announcements of new tariffs from China, an NTSB investigation on a fatal model X crash, and Tesla’s ongoing struggles with the production ramp-up of the Model 3. Amidst all these factors, however, the company’s stock price has proven resilient, at one point gaining over 7% on Wednesday in intraday trading.

A catalyst for Tesla’s recovery from its 52-week low appears to be the release of its first-quarter production and delivery report. During the week leading up to the report’s release, reservations were abounding that Tesla might be in dire financial straits. Moody’s downgraded Tesla’s rating from B3 to B2, and predictions of the company’s impending bankruptcy were many. The data in Tesla’s Q1 report, however, put some of these doubts to rest.

As we noted in a previous report, Tesla reported a 40% increase in production from Q4 2017.  The pace of the Model 3 line hit 2,020 vehicles per week as well, with the company stating that it would be able to replicate this pace in the weeks to come. Tesla also kept its goal of hitting a production pace of 5,000 Model 3 a week by the end of Q2. Perhaps more importantly, however, Tesla said that it would not require an equity or debt raise this year apart from standard credit lines.

While shares of Tesla seem to be on the way to breaching the $300 barrier yet again, some Wall St. analysts still have their doubts. Just recently, J.P. Morgan analysts led by Ryan Brinkman released a note stating that there is still a good likelihood of Tesla going for a capital raise, according to a MarketWatch report.

“Our own model does not incorporate a capital raise, but our lowered estimates newly show the company with less than $1 billion at the end of the third quarter, which the company has previously defined as its minimum comfort level, suggesting to us an increased — not decreased — likelihood of a capital raise,” Brinkman and his team wrote.

Analysts from KeyBanc, however, are taking a more optimistic outlook, stating that the contents of Tesla’s first quarter report were ultimately better than what many had feared. According to analysts led by Brad Erickson, Tesla’s long-term chances are still fair.

“Our bias on the shares remains positive near term on still a very low bar to meet with Model 3 production and profitability improvements. Longer term, we remain sector weight on the shares as we ultimately struggle with investor perceptions of the Company’s innovative superiority in the areas of manufacturing, batteries, software, AI, and competition,” the analysts wrote.

As of writing, Tesla’s shares are trading up 4.85% at $300.85 per share.

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

Tesla (TSLA) shares surge 20% in a week, gaining $9 billion since lows
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