Tesla reported disappointing first-quarter earnings on Wednesday, and the stock is getting clobbered in early trading on Thursday, down 6% to $293.
Tesla has been on a massive run since the beginning of the year, busting through a $300-per-share barrier, surpassing Ford in Market cap, and at times exceeding even General Motors.
Interesting times for CEO Elon Musk and his 13-year-old company!
Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas — a Tesla bull, for the most part — published a note on Thursday in which he captured the mood around Tesla:
With so much momentum in the stock and a market value in excess of $50bn, Tesla investors are charged with the delicate task of balancing greed and fear. The next 6 months could play a very profound role in determining how large Tesla’s market really is and how profitable/sustainable the company is in its current form. We also expect the next 6 months could see the unfolding of any number of events from competitors (not referring to traditional auto manufacturers) that could potentially change the lens through which investors view Tesla’s long term sustainable moat.
By that last bit, Jonas means that new players in the tech industry may intensify their efforts to get into transportation. Think Apple, Google, and Uber.
Tesla has a foot in two camps: it’s a car company and tech firm. Jonas may be hinting that there’s a long-term advantage there that might allow Musk and his team to look past their current challenges.