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Why Tesla Stock Jumped Higher Tuesday

By Daniel Sparks – Updated Feb 18, 2020 at 5:18PM

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Two analysts just significantly boosted their price targets for the electric-car company's stock.

What happened

Shares of Tesla (TSLA -6.32%) jumped higher on Tuesday. As of 12:30 p.m. EST, the stock was up about 6%. The gain adds to a torrid run-up for the electric-car maker's stock over the last six months.

The stock's sharp move higher on Tuesday comes as several analysts upgraded their price targets for the stock.

The inside of the Tesla factory in Fremont, California

Tesla factory in Fremont, California. Image source: The Motley Fool.

So what

In a note to investors on Tuesday, Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi lifted his 12-month price target for Tesla shares from $325 to $730 and maintained a "market perform" rating, which implies that shares are likely to rise in line with the S&P 500. 

Sacconaghi said he's been wrestling with how to value the stock after its big run-up. But he notes that shares have held strong following a meteoric rise before -- namely in 2013, when shares surged nearly 344%, from below $34 at the beginning of 2013 to $150 by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas increased his price target for Tesla shares from $360 to $500. Though the analyst kept an "underweight" rating on the stock, implying it will underperform market indices such as the S&P 500, he boosted his "bull case" price target for the stock from $650 to $1,200. Jonas said the bull case implies unit sales volume of 4 million annually by 2030 and a 12% operating margin.

Now what

Tesla stock has benefited from growing excitement from investors regarding the company's growth prospects. In 2019, deliveries grew 50% year over year to about 368,000. In 2020, management guided for deliveries to "comfortably exceed 500,000 units." Sales are expected to be fueled by more growth in Model 3 sales and an early launch of Tesla's Model Y SUV.

Daniel Sparks has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Tesla. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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