Jefferies sees Tesla earnings growth standing out, upgrades shares to Buy

Jefferies analyst Philippe Houchois upgraded Tesla to Buy from Hold and raised his price target for the shares to $450 from $360. The stock closed yesterday up $3.36 to $363.06. While the shares have done well since the Q3 report with Tesla having demonstrated its profit and self-funding potential, the company's growth becomes "value-accretive" just as peers are engaging in a mostly negative electric vehicle "sum game," Houchois tells investors in a research note partially titled "Playing a positive sum game." Tesla is one of a few car makers likely to grow earnings in 2019 and 2020, adds the analyst. He thinks Tesla in the year ahead "will avoid a volume zero-sum-game or negative margin trade-off in EVs." Further, Houchois says he saw "ample scope to improve flow, boost output on fewer shifts, and offset upcoming Model 3 mix dilution" during his recent trip to the company's Fremont facility.

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