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Morgan Stanley doubles down on Tesla’s ‘Uber-like’ service – says Tesla should announce plans early 2016

2015-Tesla-Model-S-P85D-consumer-reports-scoreOn Tuesday, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas issued a new note on Tesla Motors reiterating an “overweight” rating and a price target of $465. Tesla’s stock closed at $248 per share Tuesday – representing a 86% potential upside. In the note, Jonas doubled down on his prediction disclosed in a previous note saying that Tesla will launch a “Uber-like” service to compete in the ride-sharing/taxi market, which he refers to as “Tesla Mobility”.

He said he would be “surprised” if the company didn’t explain their plan for such a service before the unveiling of the Model 3, which is expected in March 2016. It would be important to note that Jonas is not working with that much information here. The whole thing started during the last financial results conference call when he asked a question to CEO Elon Musk about the potential of a partnership with Uber or a standalone app from Tesla, and Musk refused to answer.

Here’s the short conversation:

Adam Jonas – Morgan Stanley

Hey, Elon, Deepak. First question, Steve Jurvetson was recently quoted saying that Uber CEO, Travis Kalanick, told him that if, by 2020, Tesla’s cars are autonomous, that he’d want to buy all of them. Is this a real – I mean, forget like the 2020 for a moment, but is this a real business opportunity for Tesla, supplying cars to ridesharing firms, or does Tesla just cut out the middleman and sell on-demand electric mobility services directly from the company on its own platform?

Elon Musk – Tesla’s CEO

That’s an insightful question.

Adam Jonas – Morgan Stanley

You don’t have to answer it.

Elon Musk – Tesla’s CEO

I think – I don’t think I should answer it.

Things snowballed from here. A few weeks later, Tesla announced a $500 million secondary stock offering. Morgan Stanley was one of the underwriters of the offering. The following week Jonas issued his first note with a $465 price target taking into account “Tesla Mobility” which helped Tesla’s stock with a 5% gain the day he released the note.

Although it was peculiar for Musk not to answer the question since he is generally quick to share the company’s plans, Jonas is far from working with concrete information for his analysis.

Musk is set to appear on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show tonight and Travis Kalanick, Uber CEO, will follow tomorrow night, with a little luck maybe the subject will come up…

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  1. digitalpurist - 8 years ago

    I don’t agree with Jonas’s proposed timelines. Why announce a ride sharing service sometime before March 2016 if Tesla is not expected to have autonomous vehicles until 2020?

    I personally don’t think we’ll see fully autonomous until at least 2025.


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