Tesla (TSLA) - Get Report received yet another analyst nod on Tuesday, this time from Jefferies, which lifted its one-year price target on the electric vehicle company's stock price by 50% to $600 amid what it sees as a very favorable 2020 earnings outlook.
In a note to clients, Jefferies analyst Philippe Houchois said cashing in based on current valuation would be a mistake, given the company is likely to turn profitable this year - something many analysts including Jefferies weren't calling for even 12 months ago.
Indeed, Houchois, who has a buy rating on the stock, noted that current consensus estimates appear “reasonable and conservative,” given Tesla's potential to capitalize not only on car sales but also on other offerings such as power storage and third-party battery sales.
Tesla’s ambitions “beyond car hardware become more viable” amid balance sheet de-risking, Houchois said, though capex guidance - how much the company says it will spend on building out additional factories and other capital-intensive costs - will be “critical” when Tesla reports its fourth-quarter financials on Jan. 29.
To some, Tesla’s shares already have hit so-called Ludicrous mode, the powertrain setting on Tesla’s production vehicles that gives a neck-jolting boost to acceleration.
Tesla shares pushed passed the $500 mark for the first time ever on Monday after analysts at Oppenheimer boosted their price target to a Wall Street high of $612 a share, and called for its inclusion in U.S. equity benchmarks.
Oppenheimer's analyst Colin Rusch nearly doubled his existing price target for Tesla, which he set in late October at $385, to $612 a share, noting the company has reached "critical scale" to support sustainable free cash flows.
Shares of Tesla were up 2.31%, or $12.12 a share, at $536.98 in afternoon trading on Tuesday.