Elon Musk

  • Tesla shares surged Monday after Baird published a bullish note on the company.
  • Shares were under pressure last week on news of senior personnel changes and after CEO Elon Musk was filmed smoking marijuana during a live interview.
  • The analysts said they came away even more positive on Tesla after a visit to its Fremont, California factory.  
  •  Watch Tesla trade in real-time here.

Shares of Tesla jumped as much as 6% Monday after analysts at Baird published a bullish note on the company.

Tesla shares were under pressure last week, sliding 13% amid some senior personnel changes and a controversial interview. On Thursday, CEO Elon Musk was filmed smoking marijuana during a live interview. And, the company said Friday that its chief accountant, Dave Morton, had resigned Tuesday, while Gaby Toledano, its human-resources chief, was extending a leave of absence.

“While negative headlines around management turnover and executive leadership could be an overhang, we are labeling TSLA a ‘Fresh Pick’ as we believe strong fundamentals should drive shares higher,” Ben Kallo and David Katter, analysts at Baird, said in a note on Monday. 

They added that they were more positive on the company after recently visiting its Fremont factory.

Tesla’s Gigafactory, its lithium-ion battery-production facility, “creates a significant barrier for competition and manufacturing capability” that should benefit Tesla over the long term, Kallo and Katter said. 

“We believe Tesla’s Gigafactory enables the company to drive down costs through an industrialization of battery pack assembly and economies of scale.” 

They reiterated their price target of $411 — about 50% above the current price — and maintained their ‘buy’ rating on Tesla.

Shares of Tesla are down 14% since the start of this year. Musk tweeted on August 7 that he was considering taking Tesla private at $420 per share and had secured the funding, but later reversed course.  

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