Adam Jonas, the Morgan Stanley analyst for electric car maker and Wall Street darling Tesla Inc. (TSLA) - Get Report kept his equalweight rating on the shares but raised his price target a whopping 20% to $379 a share, from
Jonas countered his seeming enthusiasm in the report, noting that his feeling for the stock has not changed that much, but instead indicated he increased target accounts for the fact the shares are already trading near his previous target level.
"We expect that the topic of infrastructure at the corporate level (including at OEMs, suppliers, tech firms, electric utilities and mining companies) as well as at the local and national government level will take on increased importance and scrutiny over the next few years, particularly given this may be the single most important physical bottleneck preventing widespread EV adoption".
Shares of Tesla Motors closed at $342.94 on Monday.
September auto sales numbers seem to paint a challenging picture for the electric vehicle maker.
In the U.S., Tesla sold only 115 Model 3s in the month of September, whereas GM G, which just truly entered the market in 2016, sold 2,632 Chevy Bolts. For the entire third quarter, Tesla sold only 220 Model 3 units, while Chevy cruised to the sale of 6,000 Bolts.
Overall, Tesla delivered a record 26,150 vehicles in the third quarter, with the company's legacy Model S selling an impressive 5,000 units in September alone.
But with just 5% sales growth sequentially and a big miss on both the sales and production targets for the Model 3 -- a unit that MSRPs at a markedly cheaper rate than Tesla's other models in an effort to reach a broader consumer base -- it appears Tesla may have some new growing pains to contend with.
For a company that has been working with a double-digit negative operating margin long before any significant competition entered the electric vehicle market, there isn't much room for a bit of healthy rivalry.
Of course, Tesla bulls would argue that comparing the Chevy Bolt to the Tesla Model 3 is not exactly apples to apples. After all, with the Model 3, for $35,000, you wind up in a much more stylish vehicle, likely boasting far more advanced features (including some form of autonomous driving capability), than you would pay $36,620 for the 2017 Chevy Bolt.
But the early success of GM's Chevy Bolt, sales of which grew 49% sequentially, does hint at a dilemma for Tesla: Traditional U.S. automakers may be preparing to go full-swing on EVs, and in theory, they have the production capacity, U.S. sales channels, and infrastructure to quickly derail Tesla's hopes for success on a broader scale.
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In the U.S., Tesla sold only 115 Model 3s in the month of September, whereas GM, which just truly entered the market in 2016, sold 2,632 Chevy Bolts. For the entire third quarter, Tesla sold only 220 Model 3 units, while Chevy cruised to the sale of 6,000 Bolts.