After Tesla Inc.’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) strong fourth-quarter deliveries, the question in everyone’s mind is whether the electric vehicle maker can maintain the scorching pace of growth amid supply constraints and intensifying competition.
The Tesla Analyst: BofA Securities analyst John Murphy maintained a Neutral rating and a $1,200 price target for Tesla shares.
The Tesla Thesis: Tesla’s deliveries and production increased 71% and 70%, respectively year-over-year, but sequentially, the rate is less pronounced at 28% and 29%, Murphy said in a note.
Earlier this year, Tesla seemed to halt plans to add incremental capacity at its Gigafactory Shanghai, although reasons are less clear, the analyst said. The company has also pushed back the production start timeline for both its Cybertruck and Semi to 2022 from 2021, the analyst noted. This may have been due to supply constraints.
Going forward, Tesla’s ability to drive accelerated growth will depend on its ability to introduce refreshed or all-new products and build out capacity, Murphy said. This, according to the analyst, may require incremental capital.
Related Link: Tesla Analysts Up Price Target Following Q4 Deliveries Beat; ‘2022 The Year EV Maker Begins To Perform Like A Tera-Cap’
Many newer EV entrants are attempting to replicate Tesla’s success by raising external capital to fund technology investment, product development, capacity installation, and other business initiatives, BofA said.
Combined with a significant ramp in efforts from incumbent automakers such as General Motor Company (NYSE:GM) and Volkswagen AG (OTC:VWAGY), this dynamic is resulting in a competitive environment that is increasingly fierce, the firm said. This represents a risk for Tesla.
“TSLA does have a first-mover advantage in the EV revolution, but it is unclear whether the company will be dominant over the longer-term,” Murphy said.
Nevertheless, as long as the company can keep funding outsized growth, with almost no-cost capital driving capacity expansion, its high stock price will be justified, the analyst said.
TSLA Price Action: Tesla closed down 4.1% at $1,149.59.