Elon Musk is ‘a competitive advantage’ for Tesla: analyst

FUERSTENWALDE, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 03: Tesla head Elon Musk arrives to have a look at the construction site of the new Tesla Gigafactory near Berlin on September 03, 2020 near Gruenheide, Germany. Musk is currently in Germany where he met with vaccine maker CureVac on Tuesday, with which Tesla has a cooperation to build devices for producing RNA vaccines, as well as German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier yesterday. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk may be in the dogecoin tweeting zone right now, but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t still be viewed as the glue that holds the electric vehicle maker together and its relatively high stock price.

“To his credit [Elon Musk], I think he is an innovator and visionary. He is able to bring in some great talent into the company and that’s a competitive advantage. So I think the bulls on the stock are willing to look past those issues [his tweeting],” said Wells Fargo auto analyst Colin Langan on Yahoo Finance Live.

An argument could be made that Musk has lost some supporters in the market amidst his months long stretch of excess crypto tweeting.

Tesla shares have plunged 16% to $625 in May, with the sell-off not being helped by concerns on vehicle availability and production costs stemming from the semiconductor shortage. The Nasdaq Composite is down 6% so far in May. Tesla’s stock is down about 12% year-to-date.

For the stock to begin climbing back to its late January highs of around $900, the bulls say Tesla will need to post another solid quarter as to alleviate concerns around the chip shortage. This bull camp will tell you on the sidelines a few less tweets on cryptocurrencies from Musk would go a long way to stabilizing the stock, too.

As for analyst Langan, he took a cautious stance on Tesla in his recent coverage initiation.

“We see three notable concerns. One, once Model 3/Y capacity comes fully online in ~2022, we are cautious that there will not be enough demand for the ~1.7 million in capacity available for these products as it would imply new record luxury sedan and SUV volumes. Recent negative headlines in China add to this concern. Two, EV battery raw materials cost have spiked >50% likely adding ~ $25/kWh or ~$1,375 per vehicle once contracts reset. Three, there is U.S. regulatory risk around Autopilot, the failure to add driver monitoring heightens the risk of U.S. regulators mandating changes. In a worst case, Tesla could be forced to disable the system,” Langan notes.

Langan rates Tesla’s stock at Equal weight (equivalent of Hold) with a $590 price target.

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