UBS was the latest Wall Street investment firm to throw in the proverbial towel and raise its one-year price target - to $410 from $160 - though it made clear that the stock, in its books, remains a sell.
In a note to clients, UBS analyst Patrick Hummel said that while Tesla has the potential to become a profitable original equipment manufacturer, or OEM, he still thinks the shares are over-shooting after more than doubling in the past three months.
Having the biggest long-term opportunity in autonomous vehicles, Tesla justifies a market value “well above” most incumbent OEMs, Hummel said, though risks in execution and U.S. demand following the phaseout of tax credits seem to be getting ignored.
Tesla shares have been in ludicrous mode of late amid a surprise third-quarter profit and strong deliveries for the fourth quarter, while the company’s market capitalization topped $100 billion on Wednesday.
Just this week, Tesla’s biggest bull predicted the stock could reach a level as high as $960 by early 2021.
But the bulls weren't entirely out in force on Thursday. A separate report from Exane BNP Paribas downgraded the shares to neutral from outperform ahead of the company's quarterly earnings, which will be released next Wednesday.
Analysts polled by FactSet are currently expecting Telsa to report per-share earnings of $1.65 on sales of $7 billion.
Shares of Tesla were down 1.3% at $562.14 in morning trading on Thursday.