Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has received a lot of coverage—and a lot of flak—this year as analyst sentiment crossed from bullish to neutral. At the beginning of the year, the majority of analysts were bullish on the car company due to its ambitious plans for the Model X and the gigafactory. Many became apprehensive after the Model X was finally revealed in late September with concerns that consumers would have a hard time adjusting to the car’s intricacies, such as its falcon doors. Furthermore, few are confident that Tesla will be able to reach its year-end 2015 goal of delivering 50,000 to 52,000 vehicles.

TSLA consensus

Despite the setbacks, shares of Tesla have increased over 6% in value since the beginning of 2015, hitting a 52-week high in July. The stock has proved to be slightly volatile, but TipRanks shows us which analysts had the foresight to accurately recommend the company at the most opportune times. Here are the 4 analysts who made the most profitable Tesla ratings of 2015:

  1. Dan Galves of Credit Suisse made the most profitable Tesla rating of 2015 when he recommended buying shares of the company on April 2. At the time of the rating, Galves commented that Tesla could surpass its first quarter guidance for vehicle delivery. Investors who held shares of Tesla for the three months following this rating would have made over a 46% return. Galves also made the third most profitable Tesla rating earlier in the year on March 9, when he remarked on the high reward despite the risk. This recommendation to buy shares of Tesla earned over a 34% return in the following three months. Galves currently has an Outperform rating on Tesla with a $325 price target.

  2. Brad Erickson of Pacific Crest made the second most profitable Tesla rating on April 6 after the company promised increased transparency. With the Tesla’s aggressive vehicle delivery goals, its new promise ensured that it would update investors on vehicle delivery three days following each quarter. Investors who followed Erickson’s rating would have made over a 37% profit in the following there months. Separately, Erickson also made the fifth most profitable Tesla rating on March 23. Erickson currently has a Hold, or Sector Weight, rating on Tesla without a price target.

  3. Ben Kallo of Robert W. Baird made the fourth and sixth most profitable Telsa ratings when he recommended to Buy shares on March 19 and April 7, respectively. Kallo’s bullish March rating came after the analyst met with company management. The analyst noted strong demand for Teslas in North America and Europe, and also praised the company’s efforts to invest in production equipment. Investors who followed Kallo’s March rating for three months would have made over a 34% return. Kallo’s April rating was precipitated by Tesla’s report of strong vehicle delivery figures for the first quarter. This rating returned over 31% in the following three months. Ben Kallo currently has a Neutral rating on the company with a $282 price target.

  4. James Albertine of Stifel made the seventh and eighth most profitable Tesla ratings of 2015 on March 10 and March 24, respectively. The analyst’s earlier rating came after he toured Tesla’s facility and commented that supply “appears to be improving.” He also pointed to improvements in the works to decrease the production time for the vehicle paint. His second rating came a few weeks later on news that Shenzhen, China, cleared the Model S to qualify for a green energy license. Analysts who bought shares of Tesla on March 10 or March 24 would have earned over a 31% return in the following three months. Albertine currently has a Buy rating on the company with a $400 price target.



All ratings are measured over a three-month time horizon and no benchmark. Please note that TipRanks default settings measure ratings over a one-year horizon and no benchmark.