Gene Munster, a former analyst at Piper Jaffray and now venture capitalist at Loup Ventures, was speaking afterg Tesla’s disappointing earnings on Wednesday.
The electric car-maker reported a larger-than-expected loss per share of $2.92. It also said that it expects to achieve a production rate of 5,000 Model 3 cars per week in the first quarter of 2018, after previously saying that this would be possible by the end of this year. The Model 3 is seen as a key driver of Tesla’s future growth.
But the disappointing quarter has not deterred Munster from the future growth story.
“My outlook that this is going to be the best performing large cap tech stock in the next five years hasn’t changed. The news tonight and the push back is a disappointment and I think that I’m in the camp betting that he’s done this in the past and he will ramp (production of Model 3),” Munster told CNBC in a television interview.
“And I would just caution investor too. Again I’m fully behind this story, none of that has changed, but we are going to see other disappointments and it’s just a bigger opportunity and he will capitalize on that.”
Chief Executive Elon Musk said the production delay of the Model 3 was due to a supplier who had “really dropped the ball” at the Gigafactory. One of the issues is with a battery module used in the car.
Tesla has also faced another other issues in recent days, including having to fire 700 people.
But none of this takes away from the long-term story, according to Munster. In a follow-up note released Thursday, the analyst said that Tesla is likely to reach profitability in the third quarter of 2020. And with more focus on driverless cars coming around the same time, Tesla is set to benefit.
The company is also focused on a bigger mission of pushing renewable energy, which will help the stock, Munster said.
“The last wave to the Tesla story generally will begin gaining traction in 2020, and continue through 2030 as the company begins to inch towards its mission statement of accelerating the global adoption or renewable energy driven by Tesla solar and storage solutions,” he said.
“Putting it all together we believe the Tesla story represents the biggest opportunity in tech over the next five years.”
Tesla is quite a polarizing stock. For instance, eight analysts have a strong buy or buy rating on the stock. Nine have a hold rating, and seven have a sell or strong sell rating. Shares of the electric car firm are up 50 percent this year. Analysts have a mean price target of $321, according to Reuters, which is where Tesla is trading right now, suggesting many don’t think the stock has much further to run.
RBC, for example, cut its price target on the stock from $345 to $340. And earlier this week, UBS reduced its profit outlook on Tesla, reaffirming its sell rating on the stock and $185 price target, which represents around a 44 percent decline from Wednesday’s close.
“Not only does the [Model 3] miss undermine the credibility of future Model 3 targets, but it increases the near-term risks,” analyst Colin Langan wrote in a note to clients Monday.
“We believe the market should not ignore fundamental challenges that persist with regards to Tesla’s Model 3 profitability, stationary storage and solar businesses, and eventual need to raise cash.”
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