Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) added another major fan to its very crowded stable of adoring analysts today when its stock was drastically upgraded by Stifel Nicolaus’ James Albertine. The analyst and vice president, automotive, of the Stifel Equity Research Group, not only raised Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) to a buy from a hold rating, but crowned them with a $400 price target. He spoke to CNBC today to explain why that was.
“My argument is that Tesla’s really carved a niche, a hundred thousand plus price point electric vehicle, and the competition is years away. And based on the scale that we’ve seen over the course of the last few quarters, but perhaps most recently with this visit, we think they can defend themselves quite well for the better part of at least two or three years,” Albertine said.
Albertine referenced that visit earlier in the interview, stating they had toured Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s facility a few weeks ago and were greatly impressed by the expanded production capacity for the Model S, as well as the groundwork for the Model X’s production. He called the increased scale of production staggering, and that Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) had alleviated and addressed many of the previous doubts and concerns they had harbored from their last tour of the facility.
Despite the lofty price target and praise from Albertine, the other analysts who chimed in during the segment weren’t quite as enthusiastic. One stated that now was not the ideal time to jump in on Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s stock given the 25% short interest on it (which would indicate bearish sentiment, which would be consistent with the fact the average target price is about $250, which the stock has now blown past over the past few weeks), while another referenced that the market for the Model S is still a niche market, and that the time needed to charge the battery affected his own decision not to purchase one.
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s stock had a tremendous day today coming out of the long weekend holiday, rising 5.32% to close at $284.05.