Tesla (TSLA) rebounds as Model 3 sales start crushing ‘demand problem’ narrative

Tesla stock (NASDAQ:TSLA) continued its recovery on Thursday amid Wall Street’s seemingly improving sentiments on the company and the existing demand for its vehicles, particularly the Model 3. Far from the incredibly negative coverage that Tesla received in recent weeks, analysts such as Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas have revised their stance on the electric car maker, stating that Tesla could be poised to pleasantly surprise in the second quarter.

In a note to investors on Wednesday, Jonas stated that the month of May saw Tesla continue to “to extend its lead vs. a still-small group of true electric vehicle competitors.” The analyst added that Tesla’s estimated total US sales in May, which is speculated to be around 11,300 vehicles, was 2.6 times the combined total of competitors such as the Audi e-tron, Jaguar I-PACE, BMW i3, Nissan Leaf, and the Chevy Bolt EV, a vehicle once-dubbed as a potential “Tesla Killer.”

Jonas’ note on Wednesday struck a different tone than his previous bearish note on the company, where he gave TSLA stock a “worst case” price target of just $10 per share. During his previous note, Jonas remarked that Tesla is no longer seen as a growth story, but rather, a “distressed credit and restructuring story.” Most of these sentiments were quite absent in the analyst’s note on Wednesday.

JMP Securities analysts Joseph Osha and Hilary Cauley also adopted an optimistic stance on Tesla in a recent note to investors. According to the analysts, Tesla’s performance from April to May, particularly with regards to Model 3 registrations, were encouraging. “More Model 3s were registered in April and May than during all of the first quarter. It is evident that Tesla’s Q2 volume should recover significantly from Q1,” the analysts wrote.

With his more optimistic stance, Morgan Stanley expects Tesla to deliver between 360,000 to 400,000 vehicles this year, which represents an “increase of approximately 45% to 65% compared to 2018,” according to the analyst. JMP, for its part, noted that it expects Tesla’s 2019 deliveries to “very slightly to 378,900 units from 379,600,” in relation to the increasing volume of lower-priced vehicles such as the Standard Range Plus Model 3 and the potential decline in higher-end electric cars like the Model S and Model X.

Tesla’s steep decline over the past weeks centered in no small part on pervading concerns about the alleged demand problems being experienced by the company’s vehicles. With sales figures showing the opposite, and with reports from Tesla owners hinting that the company is currently putting preference to custom orders, it appears that the winds are now changing for the electric car maker.  Eddie Yoon, a think tank and advisory firm founder, recently observed that the current state of TSLA stock resembles that of Netflix back in 2011, right before the streaming giant started an eight-year rise that propelled it to record heights.

As of writing, Tesla stock is trading +5.55% at $207.51 per share.

Disclosure: I have no ownership in shares of TSLA and have no plans to initiate any positions within 72 hours.

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