Tesla Plummets on Goldman Pessimism (Update 1)

Updated from 11:06 a.m. EDT to provide analyst comments in the fifth paragraph.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Tesla Motors ( AAPL) shares were plummeting 8.2% to $116.81 as Goldman Sachs said the electric-car maker's stock could be worth as little as $58.

In an investor note published Tuesday, Goldman analyst Patrick Archambault took three scenarios, and came up with an average price of $84 a share based off a bearish, bullish, and baseline case.

Here is what Archambault had to say in its entirety, as he breaks down one of the strongest stocks in 2013; Tesla shares have gained 275% year to date.

"We now value Tesla by taking the average of 3 scenarios. In the first scenario, we assume total sales of 105K (Model S: 50K units, Next Gen: 55K) and operating margins of 14.6% implying an EPS of $5.99. Layering on a 20x multiple given the growth prospects implies a value of $120 which discounted at 20% implies a stock price of $58. We then look at a bull case where we assume that TSLA will be able to get approximately 3.5% global market share in the entry lux and mid-lux category suggesting total volumes of 200K units. The 3.5% market share assumption is consistent with the typical 3-5 year share gains seen by the most successful industry players across multiple luxury sub-segments over the past decade. We assume an operating margin of 15.2% in this scenario, which is slightly better than the 15% guidance that TSLA has provided as we see TSLA benefiting from better operating leverage given higher volumes. The implied stock price in this scenario comes at $113. We also value Tesla in a mid-case where we assume volumes of 150K units and operating margins of 14.8% which is broadly the mid-point of the two scenarios. The implied price in this scenario is $83. Finally, we take the average of these three scenarios to get our target price of $84."

Tesla has been the subject of much favoritism on Wall Street in recent weeks, so the Goldman note comes as somewhat of a surprise for Tesla bulls. Jefferies analyst Elaine Kwei boosted her price target to $130, noting "there is likely upside to prior 2Q guidance for deliveries of 4,500 units, as well as 2013 guidance of 21,000 units." Morgan Stanley recently called Tesla "America's fourth automaker," and several other Wall Street shops, including Northland Securities, which recently issued a $230 price target, have boosted price targets on the name.

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-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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