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I May Buy Tesla but Not the Stock

The luxury SUV I'm considering is built in Tuscaloosa, Ala. You may not know it, but Mercedes-Benz has a factory in the south that produces some of the finest vehicles in the world. The Crimson Tide produces all the new GL SUVs for the entire world.

If you're always late arriving to your kids' Karate practice, Mercedes-Benz has the answer to your problems. Starting with the 2013 model year, Mercedes-Benz offers the GL63, an AMG model version of the GL class.

The GL63, packed with 550 horsepower and 560 lb-ft of torque moves almost as fast as Fifth Degree Black Master Smith performs a roundhouse kick. How fast is that? How about 0 to 60 in 4.9 seconds, faster than Tesla's (TSLA - Get Report) standard Model S. The GL63 has all-wheel drive so when the snow hits the ground, the GL63 also beats the Model S Performance.

Tesla's Model S Performance has advantages over the GL63, however. Aside from a neck-snapping 4.2 second 0 to 60 time, the real excitement for me is thinking about never having to pay for gas again. According to Tesla's Website , a supercharger station will be built near my home in Wisconsin soon. Tesla allows Model S performance owners to charge their vehicles for free.

I can't say receiving free battery charges invokes the same magnitude of enthusiasm passing my original driving test created, but the thought is attractive. Unequivocally more attractive than buying Tesla shares at the current valuation.

I'm considering buying a Model S for my wife, who drives considerably more miles than the average driver. But unless you enjoy hairpin turns and white-knuckle driving, I suggest slamming on the brakes when it comes to buying Tesla stock.

TSLA Cash from Operations TTM Chart TSLA Cash from Operations TTM data by YCharts

At $132 per share, there's not much to like. The forward earnings multiple is over 100 (P/Es over 20 have historically underperformed the overall market), Quick Ratio is 0.54 (over 1 is considered safe), last quarter's "profit" was a result of government paid corporate welfare.Tesla doesn't expect to make an operating profit next quarter -- and the list continues for longer than the range of its high-capacity battery.

In other words, buy the car but leave the lemon of a stock for someone else. Otherwise, you may find your investment on the side of the road needing repairs faster than Master Smith annihilates boards with his fist.

At the time of publication the author had no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

Robert Weinstein is an active trader focusing on the psychological importance of risk mitigation, emotion and financial behavior of market participants. Robert co-founded the investing blog StockSaints, where he writes a journal about his trading activity and experiences.

In addition to TheStreet, Robert also contributes to Real Money Pro, providing real-time trading ideas for stocks, options and futures.

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AAPL $128.54 -0.63%
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