Another team of analysts joined the growing number of bulls on the Street cheering on automaker Tesla Motor Inc. (TSLA) as it pioneers the future of electric vehicles in an increasingly crowded space. TSLA shares jumped 2.3% on Wednesday morning on the upbeat research note from Nomura Instinet, indicating that the firm has an “insurmountable lead in vehicle range per dollar” and benefits from an “inferior competitive field.”
Analysts at Nomura began coverage on TSLA at buy, issuing a $500 price target, which represents an approximately 44% upside from Tuesday close. TSLA has already skyrocketed 13.2% year-to-date (YTD) versus the S&P 500’s 66.7% rally over the same period. (See also: Tesla to Rise 50%—If Nothing Goes Wrong: Morgan Stanley.)
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While bears point to Tesla’s cash burn, rising into the double-digit billions, and remained concerned over the company’s ability to manufacture the Model 3 on time, Nomura’s Romit Shah says they are missing the big picture. In the long run, Tesla will overcome these obstacles.
“We believe that Tesla, much like Intel Corp. (INTC) in the 1990s, is well positioned to accrue most of the profits in the electric vehicle chain,” wrote Shah, noting that much like the Silicon Valley chipmaker, Tesla is vertically integrated and owns both the manufacturing and much of the supply chain. Due to economics of scale from Tesla’s Gigafactory, the analyst says the firm is capable of manufacturing batteries with the best energy density. As a result, the Model 3 costs $140 per mile of range, compared to the competition’s $236 per mile of range, says Shah.
Nomura projects Tesla sales to come in at $58 billion in 2021, versus just $8 billion in 2016, while total vehicles delivered are expected to grow to 877,000 in four years from an estimated 112,000 this year. (See also: Buy Tesla, Opportunity is ‘Underestimated’: Baird.)