Shares of Tesla could be worth $6,000 each in the next five years, Ark Investment Management analyst Tasha Keeney told Yahoo Finance’s The Final Round Wednesday.
The soaring target implies a return of more than 1,000% from Tesla’s closing prices Wednesday. At $6,000 per share, Tesla’s market capitalization would leap well above the $1 trillion mark, based on shares outstanding as of its latest quarterly earnings update. Tesla’s current market capitalization is north of $90 billion, or more than that of Ford (F) and GM (GM) combined.
The $6,000 per-share level is Ark’s bull case scenario, implying a best-case situation for Tesla over the next few years.
“That’s assuming our bull case assumptions for the EV (electric vehicle) market,” Keeney said. “Broadly what’s changed in our assumptions over the past few years is, we’ve always said that Tesla was three years ahead on batteries, autonomous hardware and autonomous data collection. And really we’re adding software to that, over-the-air software updates.”
“What we’ve seen happen is really the rest of the auto market, shockingly, is really so far behind Tesla,” she added. “I mean there hasn’t been an EV produced that’s on par with the Model S which came out, you know 7-8 years ago. And so we’re just seeing it move further ahead on all of those fronts.”
Ark’s investment thesis mirrors that of some other traditional firms on Wall Street, which have recently pointed to Tesla’s troves of collected data as a launching point for future developments in autonomy.
Oppenheimer analyst Colin Rusch on Monday raised his price target on Tesla to $612 from $385, citing in part Tesla’s “600,000 cars on the road collecting data from all of their sensor suites” helping the company “redesign their autonomous system.”
The average 12-month price target on Tesla’s stock is $354.26, according to Bloomberg-compiled data on 30 firms delivering price targets over the past three months, not including Ark’s call. Shares of Tesla closed at $518.50 each on Wednesday.
Keeney noted that Ark Invest will be publishing an updated model and Tesla price target in the next few weeks.
‘Their opportunity could just run away with them’
In the past month alone, Tesla’s stock jumped nearly 50% as deliveries came online from its Shanghai Gigafactory, China’s first wholly owned car factory by a U.S. automaker.
That factory handed over its first vehicles to public customers within a year of breaking ground in Shanghai in January 2018, bringing Tesla to the world’s largest auto market at a much faster than expected pace.
“We think this is just going to accelerate that story,” Keeney said. “It’s going to help the cost structure, it’s going to help Tesla scale in a capital-efficient matter.”
And in the U.S., Keeney said she didn’t think a future where Tesla was the No. 1 domestic automaker would be such “a wild assumption, especially in the autonomous car space where it’s a winner-takes-most market.”
“We think they’re going to be able to launch an autonomous taxi service in the next few years. I think their opportunity could just run away with them,” Keene said. “And if you look at the other US automakers, I mean again their EV platforms aren’t as great and they’re really behind on the data collection that you need to get an autonomous platform off the ground.”
Emily McCormick is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @emily_mcck
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