Tesla May Pop 50% If China, Cybertrucks Succeed, Analyst Says

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Tesla Inc. shares may rise to as much as $500 if its Cybertruck becomes a success and sales in China pick up pace, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas wrote in a note to clients on Thursday, boosting his bull case for the stock.

The analyst raised his most optimistic scenario to $500 from $440 per share, saying it reflected $20 from the new pickup truck that was unveiled on Nov. 21 and $40 from incremental volume and profit in China.

Jonas assumed the company will be able to sell 100,000 Cybertrucks by the end of 2024 at an average price of $50,000 and Ebitda margins of 20%.

Since Elon Musk has said on Twitter that the truck currently has 250,000 pre-orders, Jonas’s assumption implies that roughly 40% of those would translate to an actual sale by 2024. “We believe this is a fairly optimistic assumption, given that a pre-order only requires a $100 refundable deposit,” Jonas wrote. The analyst’s base case assumption does not include the Cybertruck.

For China, Morgan Stanley assumed 200,000 Tesla units in incremental volume, with revenue of $40,000 per unit.

However, even with the new-found optimism, Jonas maintained his 12-month, $250 price target and hold-equivalent rating on the stock, which assumes 24% downside from the electric-vehicle maker’s Thursday closing price in New York. His caution is derived from the perception that in the longer term, Tesla could be perceived by the market as a traditional automaker. “We are prepared for a potential surge in sentiment through first half of 2020, but question the sustainability,” he added.

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