Tesla Inc. (TSLA) - Get Report shares jumped Friday after analysts at Jefferies boosted their rating on the stock and boosted their price target as the clean energy carmaker continues to put the turmoil surrounding Elon Musk's "take private" Tweet behind it.
Jefferies analyst Philippe Houchois lifted his rating on Tesla to "buy" from "hold" and put a $450 price target on the Palo Alto, Calif.-based carmaker based on "a structurally lower capex profile and improved balance sheet risk". Earlier this week, Bloomberg reported that holders of Tesla's convertible bonds, which mature in March, will be paid with a 50-50 mix of cash and stock, suggesting the group's free-cash flow generation is improving and its profitability may follow.
Tesla shares rose 3.1% to $374.35 in midday trading on Friday.
Last night, the company also said it hired Dane Butswinkas from law firm Williams & Connolly as general counsel, replacing Todd Maron and adding to a long list of senior management departures at the electric vehicle maker.
Musk tapped Butswinkas to help with his dealings with the Securities and Exchange Commission in October, according to Bloomberg. Butswinkas will report directly to Musk and will oversee Tesla's legal and government relations teams, the company said in a blog post.
Tesla shares also got a boost earlier this week as investors bet the new trade detente would support its sales in China, which plunged 70% year-on-year in October, according to official data.
Tesla said that number was "wildly inaccurate" but had noted earlier that tariffs of up to 40% were hurting sales and forcing the company to operate at "a 55% to 60% cost disadvantage compared to the exact same car locally produced in China."
Tesla sold 18,000 Model 3 units in the United States last month, according to industry data published earlier this week, as buyers rushed to collect the sedan ahead of the expiration of government tax credits on electric vehicles at the start of next year.