Tesla Motors Inc. Stock This Week -- Rapid Market Growth

Model S.

Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA  ) stock finished the week about 4% lower, underperforming the S&P 500's small loss of just 0.6%. Investors watching Tesla's stock, however, shouldn't stress over short-term volatility. Trading at about 10 times sales, erratic movements in the stock price are basically inevitable.

Looking back at the week, here are the most notable stories related to Tesla stock.

Plug-in sales soar
In 2013, sales of plug-in cars in the U.S. (including hybrids) nearly doubled over 2012 figures. This trend expands on rapid growth that occurred in 2012, too.

Source: Data retrieved from Green Car Reports.

Notably, Tesla's sudden leap into the EV scene meant that Tesla U.S. deliveries accounted for an estimated 18.8% of total plug-in sales in the U.S. in 2013. Without accounting for Tesla's Model S sales, in fact, the nice year-over-year increase in plug-in sales of 81% would have turned out to be a much smaller 47% gain.

Either way, soaring sales of EVs suggest they are officially here to stay.

Ford and SunPower team up
Though the innovation isn't exactly very helpful, Ford's announcement that it will unveil a concept car with a solar-charging roof using SunPower's technology does have meaningful implications. Most notably, it highlights the inevitable connection between solar power and electric cars -- whether the solar panels are built into a car's roof or providing electricity for homes and charging networks. Though Tesla may never user solar panels in its roofs, the company will undoubtedly work closely with solar companies in the future as both solar and battery innovations make new things possible. In fact, Tesla is already working with SolarCity by providing batteries to store backup energy and offset peak energy usage.

Just barely scratching the surface in solar power potential, investors in the electric vehicles space should keep an eye on the solar industry developments to see how they will impact the outlook for EVs.

Invest in Tesla? Not yet, says one analyst
Fool contributor David Kretzmann made an excellent case for why investors should look for an opportunity to buy Tesla stock -- just not at today's prices.

Kretzmann advises that Tesla is priced for perfection today. Though Tesla stock could prove him wrong, he admits, a bet on the stock at today's prices is simply speculative. Acknowledging the company's incredible performance, he suggests investors should wait for the stock to "take a sizable hit" buying any shares.

Meaningful news?
Though the week had several interesting stories, none were big enough to alter an investor's existing investment thesis for the stock.

Going forward, the two biggest stories at 10,000-foot levels for Tesla investors to keep an eye on are Tesla's ability to ramp up production and management's plans for 2014.

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Read/Post Comments (4) | Recommend This Article (2)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On January 04, 2014, at 3:54 PM, SteveTG3 wrote:

    I read that article you referenced suggesting Tesla is priced for perfection as it contrasts my own modeling of current value at $170, 2018 most probable scenario over $300.

    There was nothing convincing in that article. No new information, all I saw was existing information misinterpreted. Don't take my word for it, don't take Kretzmann's word for it... due your own do diligence on Tesla. When you understand the company well enough to recognize for yourself the difference between gibberish "analysis" from reasonable analysis, you can make a reasonable choice about investing or not in the stock. Until then, I wouldn't buy or sell based on other people's say so.

  • Report this Comment On January 04, 2014, at 4:02 PM, SteveTG3 wrote:

    Just reread Kretzmann's article... it reads like someone who spent about an hour learning about the company from some detractors on an internet message board.

    Please read the article yourself... it is a superficial message board post, anything but an "excellent case." Daniel, please re-read the article yourself... I think you want to correct your own article and delete the reference to Kretzmann's.

  • Report this Comment On January 04, 2014, at 4:09 PM, SteveTG3 wrote:

    fwiw, I just figured out why I got so irritated reading your piece Daniel,

    Kretzmann is not an analyst. If nothing else, please change "one analyst says not to buy Tesla" to "one Motley Fool contributer says not to buy Tesla."

    What of the analysts? There are 12 Wall Street analysts who cover Tesla. Average target estimate $162.

  • Report this Comment On January 06, 2014, at 1:21 PM, ashaskevich wrote:

    David Kretzmann is not an analyst. That said, yes Tesla is poised for rapid market growth.

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