Tesla Stock Upgraded Because Of Ties To Trump And Model 3 Production Volume

By Jennifer BootonMarketsMarketWatch Pulse

Tesla Motors Inc. was upgraded to overweight from equal-weight at Morgan Stanley Thursday, on the belief that Model 3 production volume is improving and a "surprisingly supportive political environment," supported by CEO Elon Musk's role as strategic advisory to president-elect Donald Trump, will aid the company's expansion plans. Morgan Stanley raised its 12-month price target on the stock to $305 from $242, implying an increase of 30% from Wednesday's closing price. Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas said the upgrade also reflects a greater push by original equipment manufacturers to address the strict regulatory landscape affecting electric cars, and a recent pullback by some major competitors, such as Alphabet Inc. , that once posed a risk to Tesla. Shares of Tesla have risen 17% in the past three months and 16.5% in the past year. The S&P 500 , by comparison, is up 6% in the past three months and 21% in the past year. The stock traded 3.8% higher to $247.50 in premarket trade.

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