Tesla bulls believe that the electric vehicle’s stock will keep rising despite price cuts to its models and an oversupply.
Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas said the value of Tesla’s shares can turn around after it declined by 36.94% within the past year.
“…are the lows on $TSLA in for this year? I’m not so sure about that .. we see FY23 as a year where auto price inflation turns to deflation .. we could see Tesla test new lows in the first half (our updated bear case is $70) before exceeding our $220 .. target,” he said.
Tesla slashed prices of its vehicles by 7% to 20% recently. The price cuts are rare, according to car dealers and automotive experts, Jonas wrote in a research note on Jan. 27.
“Nobody can think of a precedent,” he said.
But the price cuts do move Tesla’s cars into mainstream territory – a 2023 Tesla Model Y Long Range sells for $53,490 or $45,990 including the $7,500 tax credit (assuming income threshold eligibility), according to Tesla’s website.
A Toyota RAV4 Hybrid in stock at a dealership has an MSRP of $41,148 but is on sale for the ‘SmartPath’ price of $45,147 while the 2023 RAV4 Hybrid Limited MSRP is $43,293 but sells for the ‘SmartPath’ price of $46,292, Jonas noted.
He forecasts that Tesla will sell 7.2 million vehicles by 2030 and grow total revenue at a 24% 8-year compound annual growth rate.
The move by Tesla to lower prices is “just the latest sign the EV market may be entering the ‘shake-out’ phase,” he wrote. “We reduce exposure across the EV portfolio, while making Tesla our Top Pick.”
The market for electric vehicles has moved from not having enough of to “potential” over-supply, Jonas said.
“Shorter delivery times, price cuts, and falling used values mark a new ‘reset’ chapter for EVs, creating a need to rebalance the auto portfolio,” he said. “As the leader in global EVs, Tesla’s more aggressive posture on price applies significant fundamental pressure on its peers. We’d prepare for lower margins and share gain in the near-term. We question whether competitors can keep up in this EV race.”
Shares of the electric vehicle manufacturer rose by 57.84% during the past month.
Mark Delaney, a Goldman Sachs analyst, maintains its buy rating and has a price target of $200, according to a Jan. 25 research note.
Tesla faces some potential issues, he said.
“Key downside risks to our thesis relate to the rate of EV adoption (and the ability for Tesla to meet this demand given supply chain constraints), auto demand, increased competition in EVs, the auto cycle, key person risk, the internal control environment, and operational risks associated with Tesla’s high degree of vertical integration,” Delaney wrote.
Tesla investor Gary Black also has an upbeat outlook on the EV maker. He is confident that the massive price cuts will not impact the status and long-term valuation of the EV manufacturer.
Black, managing partner at Future Fund, said the cuts CEO Elon Musk made “seem to be positively impacting sales ” as the billionaire tries to increase growth as sales figures fell.
The number of weekly registrations for Tesla vehicles in China rose to 12,654 for the week of Jan. 9 to Jan. 15 from the prior week’s 2,110, Black said.
Registrations are a metric that analysts use to track the number of cars that are delivered and registered from buyers.
“Tesla is still the cool car and clearly the number one car with 60% market share of EVs in the U.S. and under 20% globally,” he said. “It is still the most desired car to electric vehicle buyers.”
The price cuts were necessary even though they will impact profit margins in the short-term, Black said.
“They had to do something.to get volume growth,” he said. “It’s hard to say whether they were too much. They needed to do it.”
“There will be a significant impact to TSLA’s near-term gross margin, and the math depends on how long these new prices levels last,” warned Evercore ISI analyst Chris McNally in a research note.
Musk agrees with their sentiment.
“The most common question we’ve been getting from investors is about demand,” he said on Jan. 25. “So I want to put that concern to rest. Thus far in January, we’ve seen the strongest orders year-to-date than ever in our history.
“We currently are seeing orders at almost twice the rate of production. So, I mean that — it’s hard to say whether that will continue twice the rate of production, but the orders are high.”
As a result, Tesla has raised the Model Y price, the self-proclaimed Techno King added. “So we think demand will be good despite probably a contraction in the automotive market as a whole.”
The base price of the Model Y Long Range SUV in the U.S. had fallen to $52,990 but now has risen $500, or 1%, to $53,490, according to the firm’s website.