Tesla (TSLA) Remains Top Pick at Baird; Outlines Blue-Sky for Price Above $500/Share

May 24, 2017 5:56 AM EDT
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Price: $190.41 -0.94%

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    30 Buy, 20 Hold, 9 Sell

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Baird analyst Ben Kallo said Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA) remains his Top Pick for the 2nd-half. The analyst reiterated his Outperform and price target of $368. The analyst also outline a blue-sky valuation which shows the path to a >$500 TSLA share price, or ~86% upside.

Kallo commented, "We continue to believe a successful Model 3 launch will be an inflection point for stock, and recommend owning shares into the launch. In this note we outline a path to a >$500 TSLA share price, which we believe is feasible if management achieves its stated targets. Additionally, we discuss some of the unique characteristics of TSLA, including increased investor interest, brand recognition, and talent attraction. TSLA remains a top pick with further growth upcoming."

In the blue-sky, the firm models 1M units sold in 2020 (including a combination of Model S, 3, X, and Y), in line with TSLA’s target of 1M vehicles in 2020, at an ASP of ~$52k. Additionally, they model ~15 GWh of battery production sold at an average ASP of $500/kWh and 800 MW sold and deployed by Solar City at a 20% gross margin, and arrive at total revenue of ~$62.4B and total gross margin of ~$15.8B (equal to 25%). We assume OpEx of ~$8.4B (~14% of sales), which they believe is feasible as TSLA improves manufacturing efficiency and streamlines production, and provides an operating margin of ~11% (below TSLA’s long-term target of mid-teens). Additionally, they model ~190M shares, which allows for ~25M shares of potential future equity raises and/or the impact of convertible debt. They apply a 32x multiple to our 2020 EPS estimate of ~$30, discounted to YE:17 at a 20% rate, to arrive at a $566 price target.

If they assume TSLA is able to achieve an operating margin of ~14%, their implied share price would be ~$700.

For an analyst ratings summary and ratings history on Tesla Motors click here. For more ratings news on Tesla Motors click here.

Shares of Tesla Motors closed at $303.86 yesterday.

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Robert W Baird, Tesla, Ben Kallo, Model 3