Tesla Stock: Is Wall Street Bullish or Bearish?

Tesla, Inc. TSLA, with a market cap of $557.6 billion, leads the electric vehicle (EV) industry globally with its innovative designs and cutting-edge technology. Based in Austin, Texas, it is renowned for its transformative approach to clean energy, setting itself apart with its direct sales model and comprehensive charging infrastructure.

Shares of the automaker have considerably underperformed the broader market over the past 52 weeks. TSLA has gained 2.1% over this time frame, while the broader S&P 500 Index ($SPX) has rallied more than 27.5%. In 2024, shares of Tesla are down 28.6%, compared to SPX's 11.2% gain on a YTD basis.

Zooming in further, TSLA lagged behind the GX Autonomous & Electric Vehicles ETF’s DRIV 6.5% gain over the past 52 weeks.

Tesla’s underperformance relative to the broader indexes could be attributed to the investors' concerns about the company's ability to sustain growth in EV sales, intensified competition, and major layoffs.

However, Tesla's recent rebound has shifted its status from the worst-performing stock in the S&P 500 this year, with its shares up over 13% in after-hours trading following its latest earnings results on April 23. Despite a significant drop in net income, Tesla's accelerated timeline for new affordable vehicle launches and agreements in China has improved investor sentiment, leading to a surge in its stock value.

For the current fiscal year, ending in December, analysts expect TSLA to report EPS to decline 27.3% to $1.89. The company's earnings surprise history is mixed. It beat or matched the consensus estimates in two of the last four quarters while missing forecasts on another two occasions.

Despite the recent rebound, the consensus view on TSLA is still neutral overall. Among the 32 analysts covering TSLA stock, the consensus rating is "Hold," comprising eight "Strong Buy" ratings, two "Moderate Buy" ratings, 16 "Hold" ratings, and six "Strong Sell" ratings.

This configuration is slightly more bullish than a month before, with six analysts suggesting a "Strong Buy" rating.

Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Andres Sheppard took the latest action on May 2, initiating coverage of Tesla with an overweight rating and setting a target of $230, projecting a nearly 29.6% potential upside from current levels. Despite the company’s Q1 earnings missing the mark, Sheppard sees TSLA’s current stock price as a golden ticket for investors who thrive on volatility. 

Despite Tesla stock trading at a premium to the mean price target of $176.45, the Street-high price target of $310 suggests a 74.7% potential upside from the current price levels.

On the date of publication, Sohini Mondal did not have (either directly or indirectly) positions in any of the securities mentioned in this article. All information and data in this article is solely for informational purposes. For more information please view the Barchart Disclosure Policy here.