Investor's Corner

Wall St. can’t make up its mind about Tesla: TSLA ups and downs this quarter

Tesla considering factory in China

Tesla’s portfolio of products and services extends well beyond transportation to energy storage systems and includes solar and energy storage products. As the world’s only vertically integrated energy company, Tesla is truly unique among alternative energy stock offerings. With end-to-end clean energy products — including generation, storage, and consumption — as well as an established a global network of vehicle stores, service centers, and Supercharger stations, Tesla is well situated to accelerate the widespread adoption of its line.

Many people admire Tesla, Inc. for its visionary approach to a sustainable future. Indeed, the company’s most recent SEC 10-K filing spoke to the company’s mission to provide an “intense focus to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable transport, ” a business model that differentiates Tesla from other manufacturers.

That report also pointed to possible market uncertainties which could affect the 2017 performance of the Tesla brand.

“We have experienced in the past, and may experience in the future, significant delays or other complications in the design, manufacture, launch and production ramp of new vehicles and other products such as our energy storage products and the solar roof, which could harm our brand, business, prospects, financial condition and operating results.”

As Q1 2017 nears its conclusion, this is a good stopping point to begin to review the ups and downs of the Tesla brand and how stock market analysts have assessed and questioned the resiliency and robust character of the stock.

A global look at TSLA


  • Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) opened at $246.23 on Friday, March 3, 2017. Today, March 6, 2017, that number rose to $251.57 to start the day.
  • Tesla‘s stock had its “hold” rating reiterated by Deutsche Bank AG in a report released on Friday, March 3, 2017. Deutsche Bank AG had a $215.00 target price on the Tesla stock.
  • Eight investment analysts have recently rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating, and twelve have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $256.33.
  • Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. downgraded the Tesla stock from Neutral to a Sell rating after the company’s December quarter results. Like several other brokerages, the firm cited about cash requirements and worries on operational execution.
  • Tesla has a 12 month low of $178.19 and a 12 month high of $287.39.
  • The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $254.33 and a 200 day moving average price of $215.51.
  • The company’s market cap is $38.17 billion.

Why analysts fail to come to consensus on Tesla stock valuation

As the first car company in a very long time to be homegrown and a real challenge to Detroit’s Big 3 automakers, Tesla experiences numerous influences on its stock value, from supply chain difficulties, to currency fluctuations, competition, and even factors like emotion and superstition. These factors can push the Tesla stock high and low, even within a short period of time. A closely watched stock like Tesla is often accused variously of being overvalued, misunderstood, or overextended.

Yet the demand for Tesla’s Model S and X, as well as initial orders for its more cost effective Model 3 sedan, have continued to support Tesla’s fiscal premises that U.S. and global citizens really want to own cleaner vehicles.

Tesla issued its 2016 Q4 earnings results on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 and reported $0.69 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.43 by $0.26. As 2017 began, Tesla stocks had accrued a number of positive analyst reports and had continued to rise since the 2016 presidential election. The firm earned $2.29 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.21 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.87 earnings per share.

Analysts’ estimates of Tesla stock prior to the 2016 annual report

It’s interesting to look back over the past several months and see how variable and uncertain many analysts have been about Tesla. In a cultural climate in which the largest economic downturn since the Great Depression looms large in many people’s consciousnesses, it may be reasonable for many people to be skeptical about Tesla’s value. But, as with any revolutionary change in social thinking, Tesla will likely continue to experience its share of scrutiny as well as celebration as it contributes to a sustainable future.

  • Deutsche Bank AG’s price target suggests a potential downside of 12.68% from the company’s current price as of March 3, 2017.
  • TheStreet raised Tesla Motors from a “d+” rating to a “c-” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 25th.
  • Robert W. Baird reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $338.00 price target on shares of Tesla Motors in a research note on Thursday, January 5th.
  • Global Equities Research reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and issued a $385.00 price target on shares of Tesla Motors in a research note on Tuesday, December 6th.
  • Cowen and Company reaffirmed an “underperform” rating and issued a $155.00 price target (down from $160.00) on shares of Tesla Motors in a research note on Sunday, December 4th.
  • Vetr raised Tesla Motors from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $203.80 price target on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, November 15th.


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