Tesla’s market capitalization is now bigger than General Motors’, making it the largest U.S. based automaker by that metric.
Investors are clearly betting on Tesla’s future potential, and are undeterred by factors such as the $773 million Tesla lost in 2016, and the fact that the sells only a tiny fraction of the cars delivered annually by established competitors.
Tesla has only had two profitable quarters in its history as a public company, while GM earned a profit of more than $9 billion last year.
Tesla shares were up around 3 percent and trading around $312 on Monday, after receiving the highest price forecast ever issued for the stock by an analyst at a major firm.
On Monday, PiperJaffray analyst Alexander Potter published a note changing his rating on the stock from neutral to overweight and raising his price target from $223 to $368.
In his note, Potter said Tesla has a “captivating impact on consumers and shareholders alike” that will be difficult for competitors to replicate, and that although bears may have rational arguments against the stock, those “probably won’t matter.”
“In many ways, TSLA seems to play by its own rules,” Potter wrote. For instance, the company burns through cash at a rate “better-established companies would likely be crucified for,” devises “unreasonably fast” production timelines, and “spurns industry norms,” by doing things such as choosing to sell directly to customers, rather than through dealers.
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