Mizuho Starts Tesla (TSLA) and Nio (NIO) With a Buy Amid 'One of the Biggest Transformations in Automotive Industry History'

March 11, 2021 9:10 AM EST
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Mizuho Securities analysts initiated coverage of the world’s largest electric vehicle (EV) maker Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) and its China-based rival Nio (NYSE: NIO) at a "Buy" as both companies are well-positioned to ride the “premium electrification wave.”

Vijay Rakesh, managing director at Mizuho, set a price target of $775.00 per share on TSLA as he believes the company has a significant upside as EVs are expected to grow to 25% by 2025, compared to today’s 3-4%.

“Tesla drives the tip of the spear in battery development for EVs. It is the only OEM with its own in-house battery supply and also an industry-leading 4680 battery cell technology with 5x battery capacity and a ~49% cost reduction versus any battery available today,” Rakesh wrote in a research note sent to clients.

Tesla is also benefiting from localized production around the globe as its business then becomes eligible for local subsidies and it avoids tariffs and ocean freight costs. Rakesh projects 2021E global production capacity to soar by 60% on a year-to-year basis to about 1.34 million vehicles.

“Unlike any other OEM, Tesla is fully vertically integrated, from in-house chassis/powertrain to battery to ADAS hardware/software, with globally decentralized manufacturing and high-volume Gigafactories in key markets. Similar to Apple's vertically integrated model, we believe Tesla's model, with its intense focus on ruthless engineering and end-to-end learning, drives innovation and manufacturing costs lower.

Overall, Tesla remains extremely well-positioned to benefit from “one of the biggest transformations in automotive industry history.”

Rakesh also started positive coverage of NIO with a price objective set at $60.00, signaling an upside of nearly 50% compared to yesterday’s closing price of $41.35.

“NIO is a leader and innovator in the premium automotive EV segment; it is domiciled in China, the largest and most prolific EV market globally. NIO has a key differentiation from peers: a premium EV offering with a lower cost of ownership through its novel Battery-as-a-Service ("BaaS") battery swap module. With a small 0.1% share of overall global light vehicle production ("LVP"), we believe NIO has significant upside as it expands in China, into Europe in 2H21E, and potentially into other markets,” he wrote in a research memo issued to clients.

Shares of Tesla and Nio are up 4.3% and 6.2%, respectively, in pre-open trading Thursday.

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