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Will It Really Take 4 Years for the Nasdaq's Hottest Stock to Hit $3,000 per Share?

By Dan Caplinger - Updated Mar 22, 2021 at 2:19PM

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Hitting a $3 trillion market cap by 2025 would represent a significant slowdown in this company's growth rate compared to the past year.

The stock market moved higher on Monday, and the Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC 0.00%) led the way higher. As of around 2 p.m. EDT, the Nasdaq was up about 1.5%, easily outpacing the performance of other major market benchmarks. The move largely reflected a return of confidence in the Federal Reserve's ability to manage economic growth going forward, as interest rates on Treasury bonds moved lower after a prolonged rise over the past several months.

One of the biggest contributors to the Nasdaq's performance over the past year has been Tesla (TSLA -0.06%). The electric vehicle pioneer's stock is up more than 700% since March 2020, and that's even after the stock lost more than a third of its value earlier this month from its February highs. Despite that strong performance, though, one big fan of Tesla stock believes there's a lot more upside left -- and she's calling for the stock to reach $3,000 per share by 2025. While that might seem like an ambitious timeframe for some, others have to wonder whether seemingly outlandish predictions for Tesla might prove not to be outlandish enough to reflect what the next several years could bring for the Elon Musk-led innovator.

Tesla gets a boost from the world's most popular investment manager

Shares of Tesla were up almost 6% on Monday, challenging the $700 per share mark. However, that's just a tiny portion of the gains in store for the automaker if Cathie Wood, chief investment officer and founder of the red-hot investment management company ARK Invest, is right about her investing thesis.

Four Tesla vehicles in different colors in a desert valley.

Image source: Tesla.

It's not the first time ARK Invest has waxed bullish on Tesla. It was only last year that the investment management company set a $7,000 per share price target on Tesla by 2024 -- now $1,400 after the automaker's 5-for-1 stock split last summer. With its shares having risen to $900 per share in early 2021, that level seemed well within reach after a stellar 2020 for Tesla stock.

The methodology behind ARK Invest's call revealed some of the high expectations it has for Tesla's business. In the next five years, ARK Invest sees Tesla selling between 5 million and 10 million vehicles per year, up 10 to 20 times from the nearly 500,000 it sold in 2020. Average selling price should continue to fall as innovation makes production cheaper and Tesla concentrates more on mass-market EVs. That would potentially produce EV-related sales of between $234 billion and $367 billion annually.

ARK Invest also sees some ancillary businesses potentially taking off. Wood has been a proponent of Tesla getting into the ride-hailing business, and the bullish analysis calls for Tesla to bring in $327 billion by 2025 from self-driving vehicles picking up passengers.

A price of $3,000 per share is only the expected value based on ARK Invest's analysis. The company sees a 75% chance of the stock climbing to at least $1,500 per share by 2025, and a 25% chance of the share price eclipsing the $4,000 mark.

Why it could happen faster

It's important to note, though, that ARK Invest didn't even take into consideration some parts of Tesla's business. It didn't try to model the work that Tesla is doing in energy storage, for instance, or in the solar industry. That leaves out the very real potential that Tesla's work in automotive battery technology could have wide-ranging applications far beyond the auto industry.

In addition, ARK Invest left out any potential returns from Tesla's cryptocurrency investments. If crypto continues to rise at the pace it has previously, then it could eventually make up a much larger portion of Tesla's balance sheet than the $1.5 billion investment it initially made.

To expect Tesla to become the most valuable company in the world by far is an ambitious call. But bulls have been right about the electric vehicle pioneer so far, and trying to go against the stock's set of passionate followers has turned to be a bad bet for years. Indeed, at the rate it's risen lately, Tesla could hit $3,000 per share a lot sooner than 2025 if things keep going its way.

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