Set to release its vehicle deliveries any time over the next few days, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares moved higher on Monday. The stock ended the trading day up more than 3%. Bullishness likely reflects a combination of optimistic commentary from an analyst and bets from some investors that the market is underestimating the automaker's first-quarter deliveries.
This analyst sees 55% upside
Following a visit to Tesla's factory in Fremont, California, where the electric-car maker builds all of its electric vehicles, Canaccord Genuity analyst Jed Dorsheimer was optimistic, citing the compelling value proposition of the company's recently released standard-battery Model 3, which starts at $35,000.
"With the performance of a 911 and the price of an Audi A4 or BMW 3 series, we see the Model 3 as the best value proposition currently on the market today," said Dorsheimer (via Barron's).
The analyst reiterated a buy rating and a $450 12-month price target for the stock.
How many vehicles did Tesla deliver?
Meanwhile, investors are waiting for an update on Tesla's first-quarter vehicle deliveries. With the first quarter falling amid the company's aggressive ramp-up in Model 3 production and Tesla's global expansion of Model 3 deliveries, it's difficult to gauge how many vehicles were delivered during the quarter.
Analysts, on average, expect Tesla to deliver 74,900 vehicles during the quarter, with about 20,000 of those vehicles being Model S and X units and the remaining being Model 3.
But uncertainty looms. Price cuts during the quarter and the introduction of a revised referral program have prompted questions about demand. In addition, foreseeing the challenges associated with a global expansion to Asia and Europe during the quarter, Tesla had said it expected to end the period with around 10,000 vehicles in transit to customers. It's also hard to predict how the U.S. electric vehicle federal tax credit's reduction for Tesla vehicle purchases at the beginning of the year will impact demand.
Musk seems satisfied
Whether investors will be happy or not with Tesla's first-quarter delivery numbers is still to be determined. But Tesla CEO Elon Musk seems satisfied.
"Amazing work by Tesla Delivery teams, especially in Europe & China!" Musk tweeted on the last day of the month. "Most insane logistics challenge I've ever seen. Thanks also to many country & city officials for your help this weekend! Super appreciated."
This tweet follows a leaked email from Tesla senior vice president Sanjay Shah in mid-March, calling for department heads to find as many volunteers as possible to help with deliveries.
"We have to deliver 30,000 more cars in next 15 days," wrote Shah in the email, according to Business Insider.
Based on Dorseheimer's optimism for the Model 3, production and logistics -- not demand -- will likely be Tesla's primary bottleneck (if there is one) when it comes to 2019 deliveries of the vehicle. Investors will likely get a better insight into how deliveries and demand are faring for the new vehicle when the electric-car company provides an update on vehicle deliveries.