When I first recommended this stock in mid-November, it was trading around $31. Over the past seven months, it has soared past my initial price target, potentially rewarding traders with more than 70% returns.
Now, shares of the the innovative electric car company, Tesla Motors (TSLA) are trading near an all-time high and show no sign of slowing down. So, I again would like to bring the stock to traders' attention.
The electric vehicle company has already caught the attention of auto enthusiasts. With its sleek design, Tesla's flagship Model S luxury car was awarded 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year -- an award given for outstanding design and performance capabilities.
In a February report to shareholders, Tesla said it anticipated selling 4,500 Model S cars. In early April, management stated sales exceeded this estimate with 4,750 units sold. As a result, the company raised guidance for the upcoming first quarter of 2013, scheduled to be reported next week.
According to CEO Elon Musk, Tesla should be on target to sell at least 20,000 Model S vehicles in 2013; however, with continued increases in demand, sales may well exceed 30,000 this year.
International demand could also help spur growth. This June, Tesla will be delivering the Model S in Europe. Asian deliveries are expected to follow in the fourth quarter.
At home, stronger emphasis on environmentally friendly transportation solutions should also drive sales. For example, Tesla's home-based state, California, has mandated that by 2018, automakers must sell higher quantities of zero-emission vehicles.
In the meantime, to make luxury electric vehicles more appealing to the general public, Tesla is focusing on offering exceptional service. For example, it now offers a "no fault" warranty on its Model S sedan batteries. The company is also hinting at the possibility of creating batteries that run for 500 miles, without charging. Currently, the top Model S battery has a range of up to 300 miles.
Given that it is quickly becoming a world-class brand and its dominance in its market with no other true competitors, Longboard Asset Management firm believes Tesla's stock could become the next Apple (AAPL) or Google (GOOG). Longboard projects shares could surge to $100 within the next 18 months and may even hit the $200 range by 2018.
Analyst projections aside, the technical picture certainly looks promising. Shares are already up about 60% so far this year, and present more upside potential.
This week, the stock hit an all-time high above $58. At present, shares are trading just under this high, offering a potentially profitable entry point.
For nearly the past two years, shares were stuck in a range between support around $21.50 and resistance around $40. This trading activity created a holding or consolidation pattern known as a rectangle. However, in early April, shares jumped above $40 resistance, bullishly breaking the consolidation pattern. Typically, rectangles resolve in the direction they are first broken.
Sure enough, since moving above $40 resistance, shares have shot up quickly, forming a steep accelerated uptrend line. In less than five weeks, the stock has climbed about 35%.
According to the measuring principle for a rectangle, calculated by adding the height of the pattern to the breakout level, the stock could potentially reach a new high of $58.50 ($40-$21.50 = $18.50; $18.50+$40 = $58.50). At current levels, this target represents an 8% return. However, with no overhead resistance in sight, shares could soar much higher.
The bullish technical outlook is supported by phenomenal fundamentals. For the upcoming first quarter, scheduled to be reported May 8, the company is expected to book its first quarterly profit ever.
Based on increased demand, analysts project first-quarter revenue will soar an incredible 1,530% -- yes, you're reading that right! -- to $492 million compared to $30.2 million in the year-earlier quarter. For the full 2013 year, analysts expect revenue to increase an outstanding 363.5% to $1.9 billion from $413.3 million last year.
The earnings picture is equally bright. In the upcoming first quarter, analysts expect earnings will turn around from -$0.76 per share to +$0.04. For the full 2013 year, analysts project earnings will reach +$0.13 compared to -$3.20 last year.
Risks to consider: Some of the stock's recent momentum is likely based on the very optimistic earnings outlook. If earnings come in below expectations, the stock may fall as quickly as it has soared. However, if earnings surpass expectations, the stock will likely continue to rocket ahead, providing a potentially profitable trading opportunity. Readers should acknowledge that this trade is somewhat speculative and could be high risk, but also high reward.
Recommended Trade Setup:
-- Buy TSLA at the market price
-- Set stop-loss at $39.93, slightly below current support
-- Set initial price target at $67 for a potential 24% gain by early fall