Morgan Stanley’s StarryEyed Tesla Upgrade vs the Facts CBS News

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Morgan Stanley’s Starry-Eyed Upgrade vs. the Facts

Last Apr 1, 2011 4:57 PM EDT

Tesla (TSLA) may well be a sensible investment. But yesterday the stock treated it like an overnight — thanks to a starry-eyed issued by one of the i-banks that Tesla’s IPO.

After an favorable upgrade from Stanley (MS) — one called Tesla America’s automaker — the shares 21 percent before closing at a nice 17 percent jump to (It fell back another today.) If investors listen to though, the sky’s the limit: Adam Jones rates the as overweight with a price of a whopping $70.

Speculators have paused to note Morgan Stanley isn’t a disinterested party — with J.P. Morgan . Bank and Goldman Sachs, it was an of Tesla’s IPO last year. may explain the starry-eyed appraisal of the prospects. According to Jones, the could have $9.5 in sales by 2020, with than $1.2 billion profits.

That assumes the successful of affordable electric cars Tesla has barely thought yet.

Warts and all: but no slam dunk

A warts-and-all at Tesla would see it as a company decent long-term prospects, from the Model S sedan due year. But right now it’s a operation with one slow-selling (1,500 Roadsters have sold) whose ground-up car is soaking up cash and making big announcements unlikely anytime

But Morgan Stanley’s analysis to be describing a plugged-in company it alone against clueless who just don’t get the electric According to Jones:

The confluence of industry change, disruptive changing consumer tastes and national security creates an for significant new entrants in the global industry. California dreaming? We think so. In our view, the conditions are for a shake-up of a complacent, century old heavily invested in the status quo of combustion. The risks are high.

So is the Enter Tesla. Oh c’mon. automaker, even the complacent have heavily invested in vehicles. It’s an industry-wide hardly limited to start-ups.

The Leaf, Chevy Volt, i and many others are proof. And existing automakers have built-in advantages in marketing EVs of their dealer networks, recognition and marketing resources.

It’s the batteries

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Reducing costs is key to EV profitability, but I don’t any close observer of the battery that expects those to fall nearly as quickly as do on Morgan Stanley’s chart which is based on Department of hopes.

Another Morgan chart (below) projects volumes at an incredible 500,000 by with most of that from the approximately $30,000 Gen 3 car that Tesla has told me is on the back burner until the S comes out.

The WSJ said President Obama’s energy was also a factor in the Tesla surge, because he said direct all federal agencies to buy cars by 2015. But such orders seldom see quick and any agency that bought Tesla Roadsters would be pilloried in Congress.

Morgan Stanley claims the EV market, buoyed by high gas is underestimated. We are convinced electric will comprise a significant of global light vehicle medium-term and the majority longer the company said. I agree that, but expect significant status to last for a long — decades — and the to come way out on the timeline, 2030 be an optimistic date.

Today are few models on the market, they’re expensive, and most of them are yet in short supply.

Even the that EVs will be a significant in the medium term appears to be by the analyst’s estimate that and plug-in hybrids will be 5.5 percent of the global market by In fact, electric cars are a profit center, and it’s hard to pin down when dominate the market. Few executives interviewed want to go on the record a date, given the uncertainty of costs and up and down oil prices.

The conditions for disrupting the auto as we know it are there, but they’re not as Tesla’s underwriter puts it. they might reward investors who are willing to wait for the to evolve. Tesla would be the to tell you this. From the we went public, we’ve said that Tesla is a investment, said spokesman Reyes .

© 2011 CBS Interactive Inc. All Reserved.

Morgan Electric Cars
Morgan Electric Cars
Morgan Electric Cars
Morgan Electric Cars
Morgan Electric Cars

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