While CEO Elon Musk insisted earlier this month that he has no intention of raising new capital for Tesla Inc. (TSLA), a new report by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) issued Wednesday morning says otherwise.
$10 Billion by 2020
Focusing on the possible capital requirement of the popular electric vehicle maker, the investment bank believes that the automaker will need significant cash over the next two years. Citing the need for continuing the operations linked to vehicle production, new products and an expected expansion into the Chinese market, GS research analyst David Tamberrino believes that the company will require more than $10 billion by 2020.
For a company whose market cap is now hovering in the range of $48 billion, this prediction accounts for more than 20% of that figure. As per the earnings report of the first quarter, the company had around $2.7 billion cash available, though that is lower than the $3.4 billion it had at the end of 2017. The depleting financial cushion with high cash burns has raised eyebrows among the investing community about the viability of its operations, and the recent GS report syncs with that notion.
However, Tamberrino does not see a problem for Tesla in raising the necessary cash, as many viable options are available to the company. CNBC quotes his note, which reads, "We believe this level of capital transactions may be funded through multiple avenues, including new bond issuance, convertible notes, and equity. We see several options available to the company to refinance maturing debt and raise incremental funds, which should allow Tesla to fund its growth targets."
Indirect Impact of Capital Funding
However, there are concerns that such capital requirement may come at a cost for Tesla. In case the company opts to go for issuing new debt, that may impact its credit rating. Issuance of additional stocks or convertible bonds would dilute current shareholders. CEO Musk has initiated a few cost cutting measures to keep the capital requirements in control, and stated that he may not need need any new capital. (See also: Tesla Will Be Profitable in Second Half of 2018, Says CEO Musk.)
Early in April, Tamberrino had issued a sell rating on Tesla citing the company’s failure in meeting its production target for the Model 3 car. A leaked email from Musk earlier this week indicated that the company is on course to ramp up production capacity. (See also: Model 3 Production at 500 Cars/Day: Musk Email.)
Tamberrino continues to maintain a sell rating on Tesla with a price target of $195 over the next six months. Tesla shares were trading at $287.50 on Thursday morning.