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Tesla Plunges After Morgan Stanley Cuts To Sell, California Registrations Plummet 47%

January 16, 2020

It seemed like it was just yesterday that Morgan Stanley was enlightening us with their $10 to $500 price target range for Tesla. Yet here we stand, just weeks later and on the back end of a massive Tesla short squeeze that has seen shares run from the mid $300 level to as high as $537 in just a month. And at this nearly $100 billion valuation, which almost made Tesla bigger than the world's biggest autocompany, Volkswagen, even MS' Adam Jonas has seen enough.


In a note on Thursday morning, the Morgan Stanley auto analyst downgraded Tesla to "Sell" based on valuation, unfavorable risk-reward and risks to the long-term Chinese business that may not be "fully appreciated by the market". Ironically, he hiked his price target from $250 to $360, and in the new note, he updated his $490 spread "valuation cone" to show his new target of $360. The spread of potential valuations has widened from a laughable $490 to an outright ridiculous $535 ($115-$650). Which, probably, is why analysts get paid the big bucks.


Jonas commented in his note: "Near-term momentum and sentiment around the stock is admittedly very strong, but we ultimately question the sustainability of the momentum. We believe the current share price discounts a fully ramped up China, Berlin and Model Y."


Jonas says that at $520, Tesla stock is "very close to pricing in our bull case assumptions". He claims that "investors will be presented with more attractive opportunities to own the stock in the future".



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