‘20X Returns' From Tesla: Billionaire Ron Baron

Amid all disappointing developments in recent times, Elon Musk-led Tesla Inc. (TSLA) seems to have secured support from the noted American mutual fund manager and investor Ron Baron.

Famed as the “buy and hold” investor who believes in the long term, the founder of Baron Funds told CNBC on Monday morning that he thinks "we're going to make 20 times our money because the opportunity is so enormous."

Baron is not worried about short-term turbulence that is visible in the financials and the business of Tesla, which is working on a path-breaking offering. "You have to expect when you're doing something entirely different than what anyone has done before," not everything is going to happen on time, added Baron.

A Long View on Tesla

Justifying the increasing expenditure of Tesla in recent times, Baron opines that a company like it needs to spend cash to build the necessary infrastructure. The delay in the planned implementations is imminent, and not everything is going to happen on time.

Baron is least bothered about having made no money yet from his Tesla investments, as he is in for the long haul. Baron has been regularly investing in the Tesla stock since 2014, and at present Tesla constitutes more than 1.6% of Baron Capital’s assets under management (AUM). Baron’s firm has more than $27 billion assets total under management.

Amid the challenges faced by Tesla in ramping up the production of its mass-market Model 3 car, the leading investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s (GS) research desk issued a sell recommendation. It led to a challenging response from Musk, who responded by tweeting “Place your bets,” daring investors to exit the stock. (See also: Elon Musk Challenges Goldman on Negative Report.)

Tesla Without Musk?

The earlier stated output target of 5,000 units per week for Model 3 has been deferred to June. The recent financial results further deteriorated the market sentiments, as the carmaker posted its worst-ever quarterly operating loss for the January-March quarter. Over the weekend, there were demands to completely revamp the company board and elect new, independent directors. A separate investor earlier requested ouster of Musk as the chair of the board. (See also: Tesla Shareholders Want Board Revamp, Musk Removed.)

Tesla’s current market cap stands at around $51.56 billion, and the stock has seen wide swings in prices in during the first four months of 2018.

Ron believes that growth in Tesla may take its own time and will move at its own pace, and he doesn't expect Musk to come to the market for raising more capital unless "he wants to grow as fast as he hopes." His opinion differs from the general market perception that Tesla will need to raise more money this year.

An Eye on Tesla's Future

While he acknowledged the recent misstep by Musk in refusing to entertain a question from an analyst, adding that "boring bonehead questions are not cool," Baron is positive about the long-term return potential from Tesla stock. (See also: Is Elon Musk Making Things Worse for Tesla?)

Justifying his long-term bet on the Tesla stock, he opines that one cannot reap profits if they wait till the company becomes successful. Bigger benefits can be achieved while buying during the development phase.  "What we try to do is buy when that development is taking place," Baron added.

Tesla shares were trading at a price of $299.50 Monday afternoon, down around 0.6% compared to Friday’s close.

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