NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Tesla Motors (TSLA) are getting a boost, up 3.18% to $237.85 in pre-market trading Tuesday, after analysts at Jefferies initiated coverage on the electric car maker this morning.
Jefferies issued a "buy" rating with a $350 price target on shares of Tesla, saying concerns about China sales are overblown. Analysts pointed to its detailed consumer survey that showed Tesla could sell at least 500,000 cars per year by 2020.
The firm added that Tesla has a distinct competitive advantage in batteries.
"The company's relentless drive to improve battery energy storage capacity, longevity, power delivery and performance while lowering cost per kilowatt-hour results in a key competitive advantage that helps Tesla evolve into new markets, products, and services," Jefferies noted.
Tesla is expected to release its first quarter earnings results after the market closes on Wednesday.
The company designs, develops, manufactures and sells electric vehicles and advanced electric vehicle powertrain components. It owns its sales and service network.
Insight from TheStreet's Research Team:
Jim Cramer commented on Tesla in a recent post on RealMoney.com. Here is what Cramer had to say about the stock:
I like it where people extrapolate news from one company and marry it with another.
But if you want to know what's got people riveted, it's Tesla (TSLA), which reports this week and has been on a real tear ever since the buzz began about the ancillary battery business. It's a good thing to end on Tesla, as it is perhaps the most anti-Buffett stock I have ever seen. Remember, Buffett likes to buy value. If you buy shares in Tesla, you are in the anti-Buffett camp and you need to know that. Tesla reports Wednesday and it's become one of the greatest battlegrounds I have ever seen as CEO Elon Musk seems to have as many enemies as friends and the stock's part of the Musk war. Someone's going to be a genius come Wednesday, and I remain distinctly on the sidelines, not a view, just an observation.
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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates TESLA MOTORS INC as a Sell with a ratings score of D+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate TESLA MOTORS INC (TSLA) a SELL. This is driven by some concerns, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow, poor profit margins and generally high debt management risk."
You can view the full analysis from the report here: TSLA Ratings Report