Tesla (TSLA) Hires Sproule Away From Renault SA-Nissan Motor Alliance

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Tesla Motors  (TSLA) has a made a move to manage its marketing and message when it hired Simon Sproule away from Carlos Ghosn's Renault SA-Nissan Motor Co. alliance.

Sproule, the director of communications for Renault SA-Nissan Motor Co., will become the vice president of communications and marketing for the Palo Alto-based electric car maker starting in April, according to Bloomberg. Sproule's soon-to-be former employer is the largest seller of battery-powered cars in the world, while Tesla is aiming for that title.

The 45-year-old Sproule has spent more than 20 years at Nissan, Ford  (F), Jaguar and Microsoft  (MSFT).

Tesla traded up 2.65% to $240.63 at 3:16 p.m. on Wednesday.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates TESLA MOTORS INC as a "hold" with a ratings score of C-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate TESLA MOTORS INC (TSLA) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's profit margins have been poor overall."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • TSLA's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 3.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 100.8%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.91, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. To add to this, TSLA has a quick ratio of 1.56, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Automobiles industry and the overall market, TESLA MOTORS INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for TESLA MOTORS INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 31.56%. Despite the low profit margin, it has increased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, TSLA's net profit margin of -2.64% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: TSLA Ratings Report

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Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

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