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Jeffrey Osborne of Cowen Isn’t a Big Fan of Tesla Inc (TSLA)

Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares are trending today after Jeffrey Osborne of Cowen disclosed that he thinks the current Wall Street buy-side expectation of 23,000-24,500 deliveries for the first quarter does not fully factor in softer demand earlier in the quarter, along with delays in EPA approvals of 100 kWH vehicles. Factoring in those two points, Osborne believes Tesla deliveries will only amount to 23,000 for the first quarter when the company reports deliveries next week. Osborne is one of the Tesla bears, setting a $155 price target and pinning an ‘Underperform’ rating on the equity. Depending on where sentiment is, Tesla shares could dip if its vehicle deliveries fall short.

As of today, however, Tesla’s investor base has brushed aside Osborne’s comments as shares of the company are little changed. Many investors are still happy that deep-pocked Chinese social media company Tencent is a fellow shareholder, with the company disclosing that it owned a passive 5% stake earlier this week. To many investors, Tencent’s buy further validates Tesla’s opportunity and of the company’s execution thus far.

What Does The Smart Money Sentiment Say?

At Insider Monkey, we’ve developed an investment strategy that has delivered market-beating returns over the past 12 months. Our strategy identifies the 100 best-performing funds of the previous quarter from among the collection of 700+ successful funds that we track in our database, which we accomplish using our returns methodology. We then study the portfolios of those 100 funds using the latest 13F data to uncover the 30 most popular mid-cap stocks (market caps of between $1 billion and $10 billion) among them to hold until the next filing period. This strategy delivered 39.7% gains over the past 12 months and outperformed the 24.1% gain enjoyed by the S&P 500 ETFs. Our enhanced small-cap hedge fund strategy returned more than 45% over the last 12 months and outperformed SPY by more than 30 percentage points over the last 4.5 years (see details here).

According to our data, the smart money was more optimistic on Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) in the fourth quarter. Of the 742 elite funds we track, 38 funds owned $1.19 billion of Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) and accounted for 3.50% of the float on December 31, versus 34 funds and $1.01 billion respectively on September 30.

The Bottom Line

Although today’s Wall Street commentary isn’t exactly bullish, Tesla shareholders are used to bears being pessimistic, and its investor base still has confidence that Elon Musk can unlock fast growth and shareholder value in the coming years ahead. For those of you interested, also check out this interesting article on the electric vehicles with the most range.

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