According to recent reports, Tesla analysts are “just as confused as everyone else” following recent comments from Elon Musk which laid out the idea of taking the company private.
Following Elon Musk’s recent tweets in which he claimed that he has the funding to take Tesla private and was seriously considering the move if Tesla’s stock price reaches $420, analysts have been left confused and unsure of Musk’s plans. Several of Tesla’s board members have confirmed that Musk had floated the idea of going private a week ago but did not state whether or not they were in favor of the move. Aside from a letter from Musk to employees, there are currently very few details known about the plan.
Analysts at Bernstein said in a note: “Frankly, we’re as confused as anyone else.” As far as Musk’s stated share price to take the company private, analysts stated that there’s upside risk in the near term to around $400 but downside risk to $340, “if no firmer details emerge, as investors would likely increasingly debate Musk’s credibility and over-focus on the shares’ price and volatility.”
Tesla’s shared traded as low as $367.12 on Wednesday but ended at $379.57 on Tuesday, nearing the highest stock price since a September 18 record high of $385. According to analysts, whoever decides to buy Tesla at $420 a share would be “clearly someone who wants a majority (or a very large stake),” in the company, leaving only a few entities with enough cash to back the purchase up. One of those that could be involved is Saudi Arabia’s sovereign-wealth fund which allegedly took a stake in Tesla last but has no plans to expand it according to the Wall Street Journal.
Analysts at Piper Jaffray, however, believe that Musk’s latest comments may just be another publicity stunt by the CEO. The analysts stated that Tesla’s plan to go private continues to remain “unknowable,” partly due to the “vague verbiage” used to describe it which means that “the deal is unlikely to succeed in the very near-term, if it succeeds at all.” The analysts stated that for the “true believers with a multi-year time horizon,” the suggested go-private valuation is “unpalatable.”
Piper Jaffray analysts currently have the equivalent of a buy rating on Tesla stock with a price target around $389, lower than Musk’s estimated $420 figure to take the company private.