Dan Ives improved his price target on the clean-energy carmarker -- which is now worth more than five time the combined market value of Ford Motor Co. (F) - Get Report and General Motors (GM) - Get Report -- by $100, to $1,900 per share, citing solid China demand that he expects will offset a slowdown in the domestic U.S. market.
Last week, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas said the potential for a buildout of the group's battery business would be a key driver for the group's medium term earnings as he lifted his own price target by by $310.00, to $1,060.00 per share, and improved his rating on the stock to 'equal-weight' from 'underweight'.
Sales in the world's biggest car market "remains a linchpin of success and appears to be on a run rate to hit 150,000 unit deliveries in the first year out of the gates for Giga 3, which is driving some strength for Tesla as well as Model Y deliveries starting to ramp as well," Ives argued.
Tesla shares were marked 3.8% higher in early trading Tuesday to change hands at $1,905.71 each, an all-time high that would peg the stock's year-to-date gain at around 360% and value the Palo Alto, California-based carmaker at more than $358.5 billion.
Tesla shares have gained nearly 40%, in fact, since the group unveiled plans for a five-for-one stock split on August 11 that would make its equity more accessible to investors as it prepares to enter the S&P 500 benchmark.
Credit Suisse analysts suggest the S&P 500 inclusion could trigger even more activity in Tesla stock, with 'significant' incremental buying of around 18 million shares -- some 10% of its outstanding total -- from passive investors and fund managers that track the benchmark index.