Tesla's Stock Surges After Upgrade, Boost In Price Target At RW Baird

By Tomi KilgoreMarketWatch Pulse

Tesla Motors Inc.'s stock surged 1.4% in premarket trade Monday, after the electric car maker was upgraded at Robert W. Baird & Co., which cited evidence that production is accelerating. Analyst Ben Kallo raised his rating to overweight, after downgrading it to neutral in October. He raised his stock price target to $300, which is 46% above Friday's closing price of $207.50. "We believe investor skepticism has significantly increased since we downgraded [Tesla] on Oct. 6, and although we were concerned about the rate of Model X deliveries, recent data points show production is accelerating, which should drive deliveries and margin expansion," Kallo wrote in a note to clients. He said with short interest, or bearish bets on the stock, elevated at about 35% of the public float, the stock could be set up for a rally when the Model III is introduced, as he believes initial reservations will exceed expectations. The stock has tumbled 14% from Oct. 6 through Friday, while the S&P 500 has gained 2.1%.

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