At least analysts seem to think so. Eight out of thirteen analysts rate Tesla a buy, with five them giving the shares a strong buy, according Zacks Investment Research. Dan Galves, an analyst with Credit Suisse, is among Tesla's strongest supporters. He sees the shares reaching $290, past their $286 high hit briefly in September.
"Demand is strong," notes Galves. "Backlog grew substantially over the course of the fourth quarter, despite the fact that Tesla produced and delivered more cars in the fourth quarter than they have in their history."
He sees no great worries with its Nevada gigafactory or its China market, both topics that have been of concern lately. For example, the shares tumbled Monday on news of layoffs in China -- numbering about 180 out of 600. Yet, those let go register as little more than a glitch in Tesla's grand global plans considering that the company doubled the number of employees worldwide last year to over 10,000.
To be sure, there are problems in the Chinese market. Sales were weaker than expected. Tesla aimed for 5,000 sales last year and, according to JL Warren Capital, a research firm, sold only 2,500.
Yet, it is also a new market for Tesla, as Galves points out. It accounts for less than 8 percent of sales, but there still numerous signs that the company and the Chinese are moving forward with electric cars. Tesla's Chinese sales showed overall improvement. China is aggressively building charging stations (19,000 to date, second to U.S.) and Tesla is on track to introduce its next model, the X, which is widely expected to have more appeal than the current S model, this summer.
So it goes for Tesla. Despite the stock's recent woes, its shares are up over 400% in just the past two years. While sales fell short of expectation last year, they were still up over 50% from 2013 to 32,000, and are projected to rise more than 50% this year to 55,000.
The company still plans to sell 500,000 by 2020 and "millions" by 2025. The engines for that drive remain the gigafactory and the Model 3. The gigafactory is meant to provide the economy of scale that will enable the company to capture the middleclass with a price for the Model 3 of $35,000. They are both expected to be ready in two years.
No doubt Tesla has a long way to go with its low five-digit sales and with the current Tesla model -- the S -- selling for a minimum of $70,000. Nor is there any guarantee the Model 3 will address consumer concerns about electric cars. They include having enough range, short charging times and plenty of charging stations.
However, as the challenges multiply so does the potential payoff. Just last month, the company announced plans to sell batteries to homes, businesses and even utilities as a source of alternative power and while not providing any figures for how big a business that might be energy storage - think solar - could be an even bigger business than autos.
While the company has far to go, it also has shown it could go a long way fast. In less time than it took the world to say "car" instead "horseless carriage," it turned a billionaire's tree hugger novelty into a $3 billion global business that produces the best car in the world two years running, according to Consumers Report. That's not something investors would want to sell short, literally or figuratively, down the road.