Model 3 sales in the world's second-largest economy, expected to represent 40% or more of global electric-vehicle sales by early 2022, have higher margins and will help Tesla achieve increased profitability over the next few years, according to Dan Ives, a New York-based analyst at Wedbush Securities.
“The pent-up demand in the China electric vehicle market for Model 3's and recent price cuts are catalyzing strong unit deliveries for Musk & Co. in this key market,” he wrote, while raising his third-quarter delivery forecast to 130,000 units, up from 123,000. Ives now expects Tesla to deliver 470,000 vehicles for the full year, with 90% being Model 3s and Model Ys.
The company’s upcoming Sept. 22 Battery Day event has the potential to deliver “game-changing” battery developments, according to Ives, who sees the potential for a 1 million-mile battery that can last for decades.
As a result of his updated forecast, Ives raised his price target to $475 a share, up from $380, and maintained his $700 bull-case scenario.
Tesla shares have been on a roller-coaster ride since beginning to trade at their 5-for-1 split-adjusted price on August 31.
The stock managed to hold support at the 50-day moving average and then rallied 36% over the next five sessions. In the two trading days since, shares have slid 5.85%.
Tesla’s stock is still up 406% so far this year.