Thursday, November 26

Tesla Analysts Have Never Been This Confused, Speechless & Absent Before

Published on July 22nd, 2020 |
by Chanan Bos

Every quarter, Tesla has an earnings call in which the company’s top executives answer questions. In the past, as with other companies, they only answered the questions of stock market analysts (and on a couple of occasions journalists, including CleanTechnica journalists), but nowadays, via the platform say.com, they answer questions from institutional investors as well as retail investors.

CleanTechnica, for at least the past year now, has been livestreaming these calls, and whenever an analyst comes up, our viewers immediately get to see who this analyst is, how successful he is, what his position on Tesla is, and what it was in the past — all live during the call. We do this through extensive preparation, including research into every analyst that could potentially appear on the call. At this point, if you give me an analyst’s name, I can probably tell you what company they work for and what they think of Tesla without having to check my notes.

Each quarter, part of the preparation is an attempt to find a recent quote that explains their position. This time I noticed something strange — 5 of the 23 that did update their price targets did not make any comments on the company. Last time, only 2 of them did that. That is when I started counting and realized that, since 2017, 11 firms have stopped analyzing Tesla — 6 stopped throughout 2019, and another 4 stopped in 2020. Throughout Q1, we lost Evercore, Barclays, and Exane BNP, then in Q2 we lost Nord LB (which is probably for the best considering that you would have lost 483.8% of all of your money had you followed its advice). Argus has yet to update its price target and might be number 12.

Normally, we mark about half of the analysts as clear bulls and the other half as bears, and a few flip flop in the middle without a status. This time around, considering Tesla’s $1,614 position, I was only able to label one of the analysts a bull. All the historical bears have obviously remained bears, but there is now a huge grey zone in between. Some have simply not updated their price target. As a result, some have by the strictest definition become bears even though most believe in Tesla’s bright future, but they have been unwilling to publicly state that the stock price is now too high. Personally, I don’t think Tesla’s stock is too high — if anything, it is still too low in my opinion, but I am not a Wall Street analyst and don’t play one on TV. A stock price is either based on performance — in this case how many cars are sold, how profitable the company was, revenue, and so on — or the stock is based on the future potential of the company, in which case the possibility of a worldwide Tesla robotaxi monopoly within the next decade or two, not to even speak of other sectors, would for sure warrant a valuation a lot closer to that of Apple or Google. Right now, the stock price is a result of good sales, a strong balance sheet, future potential, and potential for S&P 500 inclusion.

Now let’s get to the matter at hand. Last quarter, we published an article that showed all Tesla analysts out there. This time we will only be publishing those who have updated their price targets since May 1, with a few exceptions — for example, Daniel Galves of Wolfe Research, who is still likely to appear on the call since he appeared on the Q1 2020 call but has not updated his price target since Q2 2019.

Analysts are now ordered from lowest TSLA price target to highest. Feel free to share on social media any of the analyst cards you find interesting.

Toni Sacconaghi is by all metrics that matter the most successful analyst of all the analysts that cover TSLA, but he isn’t the most successful TSLA analyst since he only publishes hold ratings, no buy or sell ratings. The fact that he hasn’t updated his price target and it’s still at a mere $500 is both puzzling and quite disconcerting, because it is currently the 4th lowest of the 24 who actually updated their price targets.

This is one of the best examples of what I was talking about earlier. His last price target update was quite recent, on July 2, yet he has provided no commentary on Tesla [TSLA] whatsoever.

Ever since Adam Jonas said TSLA could reach a value of $10, a comment that made the stock plummet, we placed his bear icon upside down. We’re not sure if it’s dead, falling off a cliff, or playing possum, but at this point we are too afraid to ask.

Colin Rusch has always been a clear bull (same counts for Joseph Osha right below), but until he updates his price target to something that is above the TSLA stock price, we had to take off the bull icon — strange times these are indeed.

Mark Delaney, while a new Tesla analyst, has also not made any public comments this quarter, so we just reused our important info message from last quarter.

Dan Levy is a very strange case. As an analyst, he was not just a bear, but a bear who seemed to totally never understand Tesla, and he has said some really odd things about the company. In the last quarter, he was even the only TSLA analyst on record with a negative success rate — yes, it’s actually possible. However, he now seems to have had a change of heart. He appears on TSLA earnings calls often and usually asks questions we would not ask — ahem — and he is likely to appear this time as well.

Alexander Potter, the only technical Bull out there at the moment. For this investor call (and this article), I removed the data from 2017 and 2018 because at this point it’s not that relevant anymore. I also had to change the scale to go all the way up to $2,000, wondering whether I would have to raise that again before the next investor call, and then more than halfway through, I realized that Piper Jaffray already hugely surpassed that scale. Even Elon Musk reacted to the news via a one-word tweet:

Well, that was the update for this quarter. There is a lot less text underneath each analyst, because there is nothing new to write about those analysts that wasn’t already written in last quarter’s analyst report card. The same goes for all the other analysts not listed here, and because they haven’t updated their price targets, the charts from last quarter’s article are still accurate and up to date on all metrics besides their success rate and TSLA return.

If you have any questions about the analysts and their opinions or just want to make a witty remark or have a discussion, drop it all down in the comments below. Then make sure to tune in to our livestream tomorrow. And you might also want to give our weekly news show a chance — there really is an informational overload out there and as far as cleantech is concerned, we help you catch up within a mere 20–30 minutes (the latest episode is embedded under all CleanTechnica articles). See you all during the livestream! 


 

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About the Author

Chanan grew up in a multicultural, multi-lingual environment that often gives him a unique perspective on a variety of topics. He is always in thought about big picture topics like AI, quantum physics, philosophy, Universal Basic Income, climate change, sci-fi concepts like the singularity, misinformation, and the list goes on. Currently, he is studying creative media & technology but already has diplomas in environmental sciences as well as business & management. His goal is to discourage linear thinking, bias, and confirmation bias whilst encouraging out-of-the-box thinking and helping people understand exponential progress. Chanan is very worried about his future and the future of humanity. That is why he has a tremendous admiration for Elon Musk and his companies, foremost because of their missions, philosophy, and intent to help humanity and its future. He sees Tesla as one of the few companies that can help us save ourselves from climate change.



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