The Ratings Game: Tesla stock gets a price target boost ahead of earnings, as Mizuho analyst is upbeat on deliveries outlook


Tesla Inc. got some bullish support from Mizuho Securities analyst Vijay Rakesh ahead of the electric vehicle maker’s first-quarter earnings report next week, as he believes full-year deliveries guidance is set up to be raised.

Rakesh reiterated his buy rating but raised his stock price target to $820, which implies a 15% gain off Monday’s closing price, from $775.

The stock

rose 0.5% in premarket trading Tuesday. On Monday, the stock fell 3.4% after reports over the weekend about a fatal crash of a Tesla vehicle, with no on driving it.

In a tweet late Monday, Chief Executive Elon Musk disputed those reports, saying data logs recovered showed that Autopilot was not enabled.

Rakesh did not comment on the crash in his research note to clients on Tuesday, as he focused on Tesla’s earnings report.

His upbeat outlook on Tesla’s deliveries comes after the company reported earlier this month first-quarter deliveries that more than doubled to 184,800 vehicles, from 88,400 vehicles a year ago, amid strong growth in Model 3 and Model Y vehicles. Read more about ‘paradigm changer’ delivery data.

“With a strong start to this year, we see upside to the [Tesla] 831K consensus deliveries given proposed [President] Biden infrastructure package with $100B in EV rebates and potential extension and expansion of EV credits,” Rakesh wrote in a note to clients.

Tesla is scheduled to report first-quarter results after Monday’s closing bell. The average estimates of analysts surveyed by FactSet is for earnings per share of 74 cents and revenue of $10.38 billion.

Rakesh raised first-quarter EPS estimate to 72 cents from 69 cents and his revenue forecast to $10.7 billion from $10.0 billion. For 2021, he lifted his EPS outlook to $4.40 from $4.02 and his revenue projection to $50.4 billion from $48.5 billion.

He said that while a weaker product mix with the lower priced Model 3 and Model Y vehicles, the shutdown of the company’s Fremont facility and model changeovers could be a headwind for gross margins, he believes that may reverse in the second quarter.

And regulatory credit sales and bitcoin could provide near-term tailwinds.

“Tesla’s decision to invest $1.5B in bitcoin earlier this year could provide balance sheet strength given bitcoin’s 50%+ run since mid-January,” Rakesh wrote.

Don’t miss: Elon Musk is now officially ‘Technoking of Tesla.’

Separately, Rakesh reiterated his buy rating and $60 stock price target on Nio Inc.,

also citing expectations that the 2021 deliveries outlook will be increased.

Nio is slated to reveal first-quarter results on April 29.

Tesla’s stock has gained 1.3% year to date through Monday and Nio’s stock dropped 24.5%, while the S&P 500 index

has advanced 10.8%.

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