Tesla Will Meet Model 3 Goal, Buy Ahead of Q3 Results: Oppenheimer

While Tesla Inc.'s (TSLA) eccentric founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Elon Musk continues to steal the spotlight, one team of analysts on the Street recommends overlooking distracting headlines and buying Tesla on its ability to turn a profit and meet third-quarter targets for its first mass-market vehicle, the Model 3 sedan. 

(See also: Tesla to Fall 30% in 6 Months on Rising Competition: Goldman.)

Tesla, 'Transformational Tech Company' Could Deliver 'Outsized Returns'

On Thursday, analysts at Oppenheimer reiterated their outperform rating on shares of the Palo Alto, Calif.-based auto company, citing strong third party August sales estimates, as reported by CNBC. The bullish note came as Musk tweeted that the company ranked "1st, 2nd & 3rd in August sales," citing a reported by InsideEVs. 

"While Inside EVs' estimates are just that, estimates, we believe the service has been effective in identifying directional and order of magnitude trends on monthly shipments for Model 3 in lieu of verified data from the company," wrote Oppenheimer's Colin Rosch. He views Tesla as on track to meet its production guidance for the third quarter of 50,000 to 55,000 Model 2 cars and a gross margin of "roughly" 15% for the vehicle. Oppenheimer added that InsideEV's estimate for Q2 Model 3 deliveries was 18% below what Tesla actually reported and that if Tesla manufactures 4,300 Model 3s per week, it could meet the high end of its guidance. 

"We believe TSLA has the potential to be a transformational technology company and deliver outsized returns," wrote the analyst. 

Rosch reiterated a 12 to 18-month price target for Tesla at $385. 

Loup Ventures managing partner Gene Munster was also upbeat about Tesla's Q3 performance in a recent interview with FOX Business. He suggested that improving fundamentals for the EV maker could outweigh Musk's "concerning and inexcusable behavior." Munster indicated that if Tesla exits the September quarter profitable, as forecasted, it will trump any negativity spurred by recurring headlines.

Last month, Tesla shares went on a rollercoaster ride following a tweet from Musk indicating that funding had been secured for a potential take-private acquisition when shares hit $420. The unapproved tweet opened up an SEC investigation and spurred criticism over Musk's ability to lead the firm. On Friday, shares are taking another beating on a report that Musk appeared on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast on Thursday night, sipping whiskey, smoking weed and talking about electric planes. 

(See also: Investor Says Tesla Could Skyrocket to $4,000.)

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