A lot of attention has been put on Adam Jonas’s recent update to Morgan Stanley’s Tesla [TSLA] price target, which tanked the stock. One interesting matter is that Jonas’s overall price target actually remained the same despite the fact that he dramatically lowered the low-end option (the bear case). ARK Invest’s Cathie Wood pointed out that, essentially, that means Morgan Stanley thinks it’s much more likely that TSLA will hit the higher forecasts than the bear case.
Still, that potentially important point and the fact that Jonas’s overall price target didn’t change didn’t touch the news headlines — the financial press was almost exclusively focused on the $10/share bear case.
However, I think an even more important matter to keep in mind is whether or not Adam Jonas’s opinion on Tesla actually means anything. Does it matter at all what Jonas thinks?
CleanTechnica reader Artful Dodger sent along a tip that should make everyone ask this question. Just a few years ago, Jonas projected that Tesla wouldn’t deliver 500,000 vehicles a year until 2025, and would only deliver 246,000 vehicles in 2020.
In case you don’t obsessively follow Tesla sales numbers, I’ll catch you up to speed: Tesla delivered 245,240 vehicles in 2018, and it is expected to deliver many, many more vehicles this year, in 2019. (Click the “2018” tab in the interactive chart below to see 2018 totals.)
So, Morgan Stanley’s 2020 forecast for Tesla deliveries was achieved in 2018. Furthermore, Tesla looks on track to hit its 2020 target, which Morgan Stanley forecasted Tesla wouldn’t hit until 2025.
Tell me again — who doesn’t hit their guidance?
Elon Musk and Tesla may have had a hard time predicting the Model 3 production ramp for a few quarters as they were going through “production hell,” something Elon warned ahead of time was very hard to forecast. However, if you step back a few feet and look at a medium- to long-term horizon, it appears that Tesla is perfectly nailing its original guidance on Model 3 and overall production and sales.
It seems to me that Morgan Stanley has a dramatically worse record on two-year forecasts than Tesla. Yet, for some reason, it seems the market gave more weight to Morgan Stanley’s guidance than Tesla’s last week. Odd.
Here are a few more stories on Adam Jonas’s recent market-moving forecasts as well as historical Tesla sales: