Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares dropped -4.70% in early morning trading on July 21 after UBS analyst Colin Langan downgraded Tesla stock to a Sell and cut his price target from $220 to $210. Langan rocked the market’s confidence in the electric vehicle giant by arguing that the company will soon shrink out of its current share price.
This rating comes after the company surpassed a 52-week trading record. On July 20, the EV maker rose 3% to $286.65, its highest trading level since September 2014. However, Langan believes this share price to be well over fair value, citing that Tesla’s inventory will continue to expand as demand dissipates over the next decade.
The analyst reports that the current stock price for Tesla reflects sales of 1.5 million cars per year in 2025, along with a thriving power storage business on the side. However, Langan argues that these objectives are not tangible.
Langan states, “The stock has jumped +40 percent since the anticipation of the storage announcement; however, our analysis indicates that TSLA’s current planned 15GWs of storage capacity may be larger than the market in 2020.”
Furthermore, Langan believes that early storage orders could be erroneous. He reports that Tesla received more than 800 million “orders” of its home battery, Powerwall, in just the first five days since its launch. However, he points out that these customers have not given any deposits, and thus, capacity might exceed demand by 2020.
He adds, “More importantly, early adopters (“green” consumers) likely are driving up initial orders, but once these orders are filled, making the mass market leap will likely be difficult given the challenging economics.”
The analyst concludes that Tesla will be facing a lot of near-term challenges with rising costs of R&D, funding for new plant investments, and a growing number of new competitors.
When measured over a one-year horizon and no benchmark, Colin Langan has an overall success rate of 68% recommending stocks, earning a +24% average return per recommendation. Prior to this rating, the analyst has given Tesla two neutral recommendations since August 2014, consequently earning a 0.0% success rate recommending the stock and a 0.0% average return per Tesla recommendation.
On the hand, Jefferies analyst Dan Dolev is bullish on Tesla, reiterating a Buy rating with a $360 price target on July 17 in light of the Model X crossover SUV launch this Fall.
Dolev wrote, “We note that while delivering Model X in 3Q may be important for perception, a rapid production ramp-up to 2,000 cars/week for Models S/X by year-end and a strong demand for Model X (2-3x bigger than Model S pre-launch) are of far more importance for Tesla’s future.”
Additionally, the analyst adds that a 700 participant survey uncovers that the company should be expecting demand of 500,000 Tesla’s per year by 2020 in North America and Western Europe alone. Dolev concludes by pointing out that concerns about the company’s sales in China are overblown.
When measured over a one-year horizon and no benchmark, Dan Dolev has an overall success rate of 85% recommending stocks, earning a +14% average return per recommendation. The analyst has rated Tesla a total of 3 times since May 2015, earning a 100% success rate recommending the stock and a +9.6% average return per Tesla recommendation.
Out of 13 analysts polled by TipRanks, 7 analysts are bullish on Tesla, 3 are neutral, and 3 are bearish. The average 12-month price target for Tesla is $300, marking a 6.28% potential upside from where stock is currently trading. On average, the all-analyst consensus for Tesla is Hold.