Ahead of Earnings, Tesla ETFs Merit Attention


Shares of Elon Musk's Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), the high-flying electric car maker, are off more than five percent ahead of Wednesday's after-the-close second-quarter earnings report. Analysts are expecting California-based Tesla will post a loss of 20 cents per share on a 30 percent sequential revenue drop. Tesla reported first-quarter sales of almost $562 million.

With the shares up four-fold this year and a forward P/E ratio of 133, well above that of Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) or Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), Tesla's doubters, of which there are plenty, are eager for the company to disappoint Wall Street. Nearly 23 percent of Tesla's shares are sold short.

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If Tesla surprises to the upside, the rally in the stock (and the following ETFs) could be significant. The stock has been one of the most heavily-shorted U.S. issues through much of 2013. With Tesla now a "four bagger" year-to-date, how much more pain the shorts can endure is up for debate. What is not debatable is that Tesla has a significant impact on these ETFs.

Related: Tesla Gets A Big ETF Promotion.

Market Vectors Global Alternative Energy ETF (NYSE:GEX) The Market Vectors Global Alternative Energy ETF was recently reverse split, though this reverse split was not brought on by poor performance. An almost 13 percent weight to Tesla, the largest among ETFs, has ensured GEX has been a star performer this year WITHOUT the benefit of the price-inflating reverse split.

GEX has been strong this year that it is third-best non-leveraged ETF year-to-date. Some of the other funds on the top-10 list also include Tesla among their holdings, proving Musk's company has been a key driver of performance for these ETFs. Those other ETFs include the...

First Trust NASDAQ Clean Edge Green Energy Index Fund (NASDAQ:QCLN) An almost 11 percent weight to Tesla has meant good things for the First Trust NASDAQ Clean Edge Green Energy Index Fund as the ETF is up 55 percent year-to-date and that is including Wednesday's four percent decline.

In addition to Tesla, QCLN also features ample solar sector exposure, which until today, had been helpful. First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) and SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR), as just two examples, combine for nearly 12 percent of the ETF's weight. How important has QCLN's status as a "Tesla ETF" been to the fund? In May, it had $37.3 million in assets under management. As of Tuesday, that number was $63.1 million.

Other funds to consider: First Trust US IPO Index Fund (NYSE:FPX) with a 2.1 percent weight to Tesla. The First Trust NASDAQ Global Auto Index Fund (NASDAQ:CARZ) has a 3.5 percent to Tesla while the PowerShares WilderHill Clean Energy Portfolio (NYSE:PBW) features a 2.8 percent weight to the stock.

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