Barclays Downgrades Tesla Stock, Cites Need to Take Profits After Recent Rally

Barclays Downgrades Tesla Stock Following Recent Rally

Analyst’s Rating Change

Reasons for the Rally

“We believe the stock’s recent rally can be best explained by the market’s current AI-driven thematic trade, as well as excitement over recent announcements to open the TSLA Supercharger network to other brands,” he said in a note to clients Wednesday. “Yet while we aren’t surprised that the stock has participated in the rally, we believe it is prudent to move to the sidelines.”

Tesla’s Performance

The stock has rallied more than 120% year to date, compared with gains of more than 14% and 30%, respectively, for the S & P 500 and technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite . That marks a turn after the stock underperformed in 2022, dropping 65% in the year.

Long-Term Opportunity

Levy said there’s still a clear long-term opportunity for shareholders and Tesla remains poised to be a winner within original equipment manufacturers amid the shift to electrification. Excitement could build in late 2024 and 2025 over the lower-cost Model 2, he noted. But he said right now, fundamentals may be overlooked as investors buy into stocks with exposure to artificial intelligence amid skyrocketing interest in the technology.

Factors Fueling the Rally

Additionally, Levy said part of the rally could be coming from a “dearth of bad news” for Tesla, noting a May article in a German newspaper describing issues with the company’s data security and self-driving work was quickly forgotten about. He also said the general sentiment on Tesla has been relatively positive since the article. News such as the changes to eligibility for its Standard Range Model 3 for full Inflation Reduction Act tax credits and the hiring of ad chief Linda Yaccarino as Twitter CEO could also be helping. Partnerships allowing other car makers to use Tesla’s charging technology has also been a recent talking point when considering the stock’s move, he said.

Conclusion

“Our experience covering TSLA has made us well aware of the potential for TSLA’s stock movements to be driven by more than fundamentals,” Levy said. “In fact, we have at times been willing to be more generous with our target multiple given the belief that TSLA is far more likely to get the ‘more than a carmaker’ treatment by the market, with support from different pockets of the investment community, including retail and momentum investors.”

Disclaimer: is the parent company of AsumeTech. — AsumeTech’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.

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