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Tesla Advances as Credit Suisse's Dan Levy Gives Electric-Vehicle Maker `Credit Where Due'

Tesla is 'leading in the areas that will likely define the future of car making - software and electrification,' the analyst writes in a report.
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Credit Suisse analyst Dan Levy has an underperform rating on Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc. Report and a target price just a bit more than half the current market price on the electric-vehicle producer.

But his Dec. 16 report on Tesla helped boost the share price in trading Monday, as the analyst said Tesla is "leading in the areas that will likely define the future of car making - software and electrification."

"[It’s] important to give Tesla its credit where due," Levy wrote.

At last check, Tesla shares were trading up 5.5% at $378.26. It has traded at a 52-week high of $383.61 Monday. Levy's target price on the stock is $200.

The analyst visited Tesla's Gigafactory 1 last week. He said that while the company would not speak to its strategy, he expected that an industry event in the first half of 2020 would give investors clues to its plans.

The topics in question include expansion of battery capacity, the cost and chemistry of batteries as well as their safety and durability, and whether Tesla will do battery production itself or collaborate with partners.

The analyst said that Tesla's batteries are the most energy dense on the market and that, conversely, most others are less energy efficient.

Tesla did speak to its relationship with Panasonic  (PCRFY) , which makes battery cells for its cars, and the analyst said that it's quite pleased with the Japanese company's product.

The analyst in his report said that only about a third of Gigafactory 1 in Nevada has been built out but that it is fully operational. The operations there have room for optimization but are running much more smoothly than they did last year, he said.

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