In what could be the most important election of 2016, TheStreet is looking for The Worst Stock in the World and we need your help. In these times of market turbulence, it's our job to watch out for the worst investments that can sink your portfolio. Our search is not merely limited to the worst stock in the Dow or S&P. We are going global and accepting nominations from our readers for the absolute worst stock in the world. This article is part of an ongoing series talking about these stocks and why they're the worst. If you have an idea as to what the worst stock in the world is, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tesla Motors (TSLA) - Get Report has tremendous potential. The day may come when the company's battery-powered automobiles set the standard for the industry. Perhaps someday our homes will be powered by batteries manufactured in a Tesla gigafactory.
But it will take nothing short of a miracle for the stock to grow into its present valuation. The stock's current valuation is a reflection of high hopes that its fantastic products will someday change the way we live.
Unfortunately, shareholders must live in the here and now. When the stock reached its all-time closing high of $286.04 in September 2014, it was wildly overvalued. Despite the fact that the stock has fallen by about $100 per share since then, Tesla is still overpriced. Even after its decline, the stock trades at over 100-times next year's anticipated earnings.
Tesla would have to fall to about $90 per share in order to achieve a more reasonable forward price-to-earnings ratio of 50. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 currently is valued with a forward price-to-earnings ratio of just 16. I'm not suggesting that Tesla should be valued at the same multiple as the broader market, as the company admittedly has tremendous potential.
However, if Tesla was to be given the same valuation as the S&P 500, the stock would trade at about $29.25. If Tesla was to be valued in a similar manner as Apple, which trades at 9.4-times next year's anticipated earnings, the stock would fall to about $17.25 per share.
The company's fundamentals are out of line, and Tesla's technical situation is equally troublesome. Over the past two years, the stock has formed a massive double top pattern. The formation is so large that it is clearly visible on Tesla's monthly chart. The pattern suggests that Tesla could fall to about $80.
If Tesla hopes to achieve its potential, the company will have to spend a tremendous amount of capital. According to analysts at Barclays, the market is underestimating that amount. The analysts believe the company will spend $1 billion over the next 12 months, and a whopping $11 billion over the next five years, as it attempts to bring its visions to fruition.
Clearly, changing the world is neither easy nor cheap. I'm rooting for Tesla to change the world, but we can't value a company based on the sentiments it inspires.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author was short TSLA.