Anyone who has seen our Tesla quarterly earnings call livestreams will have seen that we somehow manage to immediately pull up a ton of useful info on who each analyst is. You might be wondering how we do that. The answer is extensive preparation and research. We try to be prepared for any analytical institution that might end up on the call. However, the audience only gets to see the few that make it onto the call each quarter.
With this article, we are taking the opportunity to help everyone get familiar with the analysts whose reports make the stock bounce up and down like a ping pong ball. While many of them don’t have a great track record when it comes to Tesla, there really are a few good analysts in the lists.
The guide below goes from biggest loss on TSLA to greatest gain. The graphics were created for the Tesla shareholder call, so any changes since then are not reflected in them. However, updated price targets are included in the text.
When it comes to who has been on the investor calls, our data goes back to the beginning of 2018. In this time, Nord LB bank has not called in for questions on the quarterly earnings calls and is not an analyst you should expect to hear from. While Frank Schwope keeps his price target updated, he has not publicly commented on the stock in 2020.
Out of all the analysts, if you were to follow his advice on when to buy, sell, or hold TSLA, you would lose all your money almost twice. When it comes to a TSLA return, he is the very last on the list and his overall success rate is only 23%. There are worse, as you will see soon, but this metric really should be at least above 50%.
Next up is Joseph Spak from Royal Bank Canada. He asked questions on the Tesla quarterly earnings call twice in 2019, in Q1 and in Q2. Companies listed in Tesla’s 10K SEC filing often end up asking questions on the earnings calls and Royal Bank Canada was listed as a lender for the year of 2018. This analyst’s success rate is still under 50%, but only about 1/5th of all Tesla analysts have a success rate above 60%. All of them are playing it safe, taking less risk, and even the best Tesla analysts have an average success rate between 39% to 53%. So, while Joseph Spak is not a really bad analyst, he is the second worst Tesla analyst in our list. More importantly, had you listened to his investing advice for Tesla, you would have lost all your money.
RCB set its price target for TSLA to $615 after the Q1 earnings call.
This is by far the least successful and one of the craziest Tesla stock analyst stories on our list. In fact, he is the only one with a negative success rate. With a track record like that, it is a mystery that he is still covering TSLA. Credit Suisse was also listed in the SEC 10K for 2018 and Dan Levy asked questions on the investor call three times in 2019. He has, until very recently, been a very negative bear, but since the coronavirus, he suddenly speaks well of the company, acknowledging Tesla’s technological advantage. At the same time, he significantly increased his price target for TSLA stock, but it is still lower than the actual stock price today and, therefore, he is still classified as a bear.
Obviously, history tells us he is the third worst analyst to get advice on Tesla stock from since you would again lose all your money — looking backward, at least.
Credit Suisse set its price target for TSLA to $700 after the Q1 earnings call. That’s basically the price it’s at today.
Citigroup is also one of the 8 lenders listed in Tesla’s 2018 SEC 10K (only 7 of them have analysts that cover Tesla). This analyst has not asked questions in any investor calls, and is thus unlikely to appear in a future call.
Next up is Evercore ISI, which is going to get a bit confusing since it seems to have (or had) 3 TSLA analysts. Records show that Arndt Ellinghorst updated their price target from September 2014 till November 2015. Then George Galliers seems to have updated their price target April 2016 until May 2019. Then Arndt Ellinghorst took over again until July 2019. And now, since around the end of January, Chris McNally has taken over, with the last update being February 18th. George Galliers in the end of 2019 started working for Goldman Sachs, but does not appear to have anything to do with TSLA anymore, so he is not on the list. Arndt Ellinghorst still works for Evercore ISI. His overall success rate is the second worst on the list, right after Dan Levy from Credit Suisse, but at least it’s not negative.
Evercore participated in the Q4 2019 investor call, but the person who participated was none of these 3 analysts, Evercore had John Sagar as their representative on the call. Who John Sagar is remains a mystery, as we were unable to find him anywhere. Maybe it was managing director Christopher Sanger, the closest name we could find. Also, it’s kind of funny that 1 out of 10 analysts has practically no identity on the internet other than being listed as an analyst on Tipranks. Sometimes they are listed on the company website or on LinkedIn, but with no picture. It almost seems like a company policy for some firms to delete all traces employees have of themselves on the internet. In the case of John Sagar, we couldn’t find him anywhere, not even on Tipranks. He is a true level 2 internet ghost.
Nothing special about Cowen & Co LLC. Cowen Analyst Jeffrey Osborne has never asked a question on an Tesla earnings call and is a staunch bear. He has an underwhelming success rate and is the first analyst in this evaluation who makes you lose less than 100% of your TSLA investment if you follow his public recommendations on the stock. He hasn’t updated his public price target for Tesla since February 18th.
While Needham doesn’t publicly set any price targets, TSLA Analyst Rajvindra Gill did recommend investors to never buy TSLA, only sell it — something like 29 times since December 2018, most recently on April 30th.
Barclays is again one of the banks listed in the 2018 SEC 10K filing, yet another bear with an underwhelming success rate and an unacceptably low TSLA Return. Johnson appeared on one or more TSLA shareholder calls in 2018.
Patrick Hummel is UBS’s new face for TSLA. For a long time before him, it was Colin Langan (success rate 64%; TSLA Return -23.7%). Hummel doesn’t have a hot record so far, but he’s not on the bottom of the pack.
This is a pretty rare case of an above average success rate but a solidly negative TSLA return. Brinkman is also pretty much the last remaining analyst with such a low TSLA price target — just $240! JP Morgan Chase reiterated its $240 price target after the call this week, and they are so far the only ones with an update price target below $500, let alone below $250. Ryan Brinkman appeared on the Q1 shareholder call.
Deutsche Bank is again one of the banks listed in the 2018 SEC 10K filing. This is our first analyst that is not always a bear and was sometimes even slightly bullish. This appears to be an analyst with principles, beliefs that TSLA has a certain worth. Rosner has been more or less spot on with his price targets. Having said that, he has the 4th worst average success rate and a negative return for TSLA. He is one of the analysts that appeared on the Q1 call this week.
Daniel Ives is the first analyst on this list with a success rate above 50%. Although, if you followed his advice on when to buy, sell, or hold stock, you would not make any money. Daniel Ives is sometimes a bit bullish, sometimes a bit bearish, but mostly quite down to earth. He was on calls in 2018, but not in 2019.
Wedbush set its price target for TSLA to $600 after the Q1 earnings call.
Bank of America was also listed in the 2018 10K, but in a different location that appears to have to do with an older loan. Its success rate has been rather poor and returns similarly bad, negative in net. Bank of America set its price target for TSLA to $500 after the Q1 earnings call.
We already touched on Evercore a bit earlier. This is Evercore’s most current analyst (we think), and while he has a better success rate, it’s still under 50%. His TSLA return at -12.4% is not as bad as the results of many of his colleagues, but so far he has not had many chances to make mistakes, with just 3 price target updates. It’s also possible that when Evercore saw that this third analyst was not the charm, the firm decided to stop TSLA coverage. Or perhaps they’re looking for a 4th analyst. …
There is only one truly remarkable thing about Crain Irwin worth mentioning here, and that is his latest public comment on Tesla, which he made in Q1. It is absolutely hilarious. I really can’t stress enough that a calculator can’t be an analyst’s only tool, especially with hard-to-define stocks like Tesla.
The next on the list is Wolfe Research, with Rod Lache leading the team. He is one of just 4 remaining analysts that did not make a positive return on Tesla. However, he does have an overall success rating of 61%, which is quite positive. He is one of two TSLA analysts Wolfe Research has, and the other one is a lot more interesting and higher up on the list.
This is the first serious analyst whose performance doesn’t feel like a punch to the gut.
This is the last analyst whose TSLA advice would make you lose a bit of money. That is despite the fact that Joseph Osha of JMP Securities is a TSLA bull. In fact, in Q1 his rating was off this card, at $1,100, the very highest score anyone has ever given Tesla, literally ever. He has been on the investor call twice in the last year, during the Q2 call and the Q4 call.
JMP Securities set its price target for TSLA to $1,020 after the Q1 earnings call.
Christopher Eberle has not appeared on TSLA calls and his price target has mostly been bullish. He does have an above average success rate, but a TSLA return of 0%. There is one very good reason his TSLA return is 0%, and that is because he has only rated the stock as hold, and only kept that update throughout 2019. If you don’t first buy, you don’t earn. There are two ways of looking at this, either as advice for people who already bought TSLA and should just hold long term, or more specifically as advice to hold because the analyst predicts it will go up soon.
Toni Sacconaghi, with his 70% average success rate, is the second overall most successful analyst on this metric. This analyst was on two calls in 2019, the call for Q1 and the call for Q2. His price target was lower than the stock before Q4 2018 and mostly higher afterwards. Most notably, he did not fall for the drama that surrounded Tesla and there is something to be said for that. I don’t recall him ever asking any dumb questions or making any negative remarks. While his 43 hold ratings without any buy ratings on their own won’t get you a good TSLA return, which is zero, just as with the previous analyst, it’s certainly better than almost all analysts we had on the list before him. Sacconaghi’s 70% overall success rate and 22% average return (not listed in image) is what makes him a respectable top notch analyst, in our opinion.
Some analytical firms don’t set price targets, as is the case with Consumer Edge Research. He was on a Tesla call once some time ago … maybe. Most notably, though, he actually has a positive return and has a 63% success rate.
Now this one is an unusual case. Remember when I said some of these analysts don’t seem to exist outside of their job? Well, that is the case with the new TSLA analyst for Goldman Sachs, for whom we could only find a 90×90 pixel image. Other than that, he is a ghost. Notably, Goldman Sachs used to have a different analyst cover TSLA. He was a total bear and was even more of a ghost than Mark Delaney. Then Goldman Sachs stopped TSLA coverage in Q3 2019 and just resumed it in Q2 2020. So, that dotted green line — you can pretty much ignore it, but it does show how significantly Goldman Sachs’ position on Tesla has changed. In fact, their TSLA price target of $864 before the call was the highest one out there and I had to triple check it just to make sure I had it right. It’s also the third highest rating any of these Wall Street analysts has ever given Tesla. This may be the most dramatic shift of a bear turning bull we have ever seen for a large analytical company like Goldman Sachs. They went from being one of the most bearish bears to one of the most bullish bulls, a total 180 degree turn.
Goldman Sachs set their price target for TSLA to $925 after the Q1 earnings call.
While this investor has never been on a call, Garrett Nelson is the only real bear to have made a positive return on TSLA. It’s a weird world.
Pierre Ferragu, or as many know him, the Frenchman that no one seems to understand on the shareholder calls, has for years been called one of the most bullish bulls due to the $530 TSLA price target he announced in Q2 2018. While we may not always know what he is saying, his advice would have gotten you a 13.1% return on investment. Pierre is the only analyst who has appeared on all of the investor calls for 2019.
My bullish stance on $TSLA was that they could get to 25% gross margin by 2025. They just posted 25.5% for last quarter. I almost feel betrayed. What am I going to do in the next 5 years? 😂
— Pierre Ferragu (@p_ferragu) April 29, 2020
$TSLA auto gross margins 25.5% in 1Q20… model Y positive contribution margin in its first quarter. Even the Uber-bulls at New Street could not anticipate that. I would hate being any other car manufacturer. Today. It is going from worrying to humiliating.
— Pierre Ferragu (@p_ferragu) April 29, 2020
Daniel Galves is the second Wolfe Research analyst on this list. It is worth noting that while Wolfe Research hasn’t publicly updated its price target since Q2 2019, analyst Daniel Galves was on the Q2, Q3, and Q4 Tesla investor call in 2019 as well as calls in 2018. Daniel Galves is the 9th most successful TSLA analyst, and the Wolfe Research analysts are 2 of just 10 with an average success score above 60%. Compared to Daniel Galves there is only one other analyst that is both overall more successful and has a higher TSLA return.
This analyst has always been a bull, but right now his price target is quite a bit lower than the stock. So, while he is technically a bear at the moment, I would hesitate to call him that since it seems he is just being cautious after the sharp rise in the stock price.
Adam Jonas and Morgan Stanley — where to begin? You are probably wondering why he is listed as a bear, or more specifically an upside down bear. Well, it actually has to do with when I first made these cards, and it was exactly at the time when he predicted that the Tesla stock could go as low as just $10, news that made the stock tank quite a bit for no good reason. While his official price target for Tesla has sometimes been bullish, Jonas has often been negative about Tesla. Calling him an upside down bear was the only option that seemed logical. His advice on when to buy, sell, and hold TSLA shares would have gotten you a 31.3% return on investment — not bad. That is mainly because his advice was to buy in 2014, hold until 2020, and sell while it was high before the epidemic made the stock tank.
China Renaissance — the one thing I can tell you about them is that the organization is often described as very secretive but also very successful. This analyst has 5 ratings in total, 4 for Tesla and 1 for Nio. All of those choices turned out to be successful, resulting in a 100% success rate, which is pretty much unheard of, but it’s also a number that will go down in time — it’s a technicality. The real overall success rate champion should be Toni Sacconaghi from Bernstein in my opinion.
Carson Ng is also a bit of a ghost but since we don’t have an image of him. I assume you already figured that part out.
We have now reached the top 5 TSLA analysts. Following Jonathan Dorsheimer’s advice, you would have made a 55.2% return on investment within just 2 years. That is a great return. This man has never been on a TSLA investor call, but maybe he should be. Here is a good question for you to discuss in the comments: should the investor call be for analysts who “don’t get” Tesla or for people who do and want to make their financial advice even better by asking the right questions?
While his return is good, Jonathan could work on his overall success rate.
Canaccord updated its price target to $650 after the Q1 earnings call.
Alexander Potter of Piper Jaffray (sometimes referred to as Piper Sandler) is the 4th most successful Tesla analyst on this list in terms of a theoretical financial return. Recently at $928, he had the second highest price target ever given to Tesla.
Piper Jaffray set its price target for TSLA to $939 after the earnings call.
The third most successful TSLA analyst is one you have likely not heard of. His name is Stuart Pearson, and he works for BNP. He only initiated coverage in Q4 2019, but some good advice and the recent TSLA boom has brought him to the top of the list. The question is whether he will stay there. Also, who is he? We still don’t have an image of him.
Those who have been watching our Tesla conference call livestreams will be quite familiar with this man, Colin Rusch, the second best TSLA analyst in terms of “success rate” and third best in terms of theoretical returns. He was on 3 investor calls in 2019 — in Q1, Q2, and Q4 — as well as one or more calls in 2018. Strangely, he has not updated his price target since the end of January, but considering his success, I doubt he is ending his TSLA coverage.
Oppenheimer set its price target for TSLA to $948 after the earnings call.
While he hasn’t updated his price target publicly in quite a while, his investment advice had you followed it back then would have earned a very good profit. In fact, it would have earned you almost as much as the analyst in first place. He appeared on two TSLA earnings calls in 2019, in Q1 and in Q3.
The winner when it comes to TSLA returns is Philippe Houchois from Jefferies. While it seems he was not on a TSLA call in 2019 or 2018, I think he was on a call before then. While his average success is not even 60%, when it comes to getting a return on investment in Tesla, this man has been spot on for years.
If you are looking for really good TSLA advice, you might want to keep a close eye on the top 5 as well as one other person.
Tesla is not a regular stock, so to understand it and perhaps day trade it, a regular analyst won’t do. You could try to follow the advice of some of these analysts to try to sell high and buy low, but for sound investment advice and a good understanding of what you are buying into, I think there is one very well known Tesla analyst who doesn’t work for a large corporation and was not on this list. That is the man who says he plans to “hold TSLA till $1 trillion,” Galileo Russel. He also happens to be a friend of CleanTechnica. Most of our readers are probably already familiar with him.
Here is the simple truth: had you bought TSLA any time before it hit $500 and just held on, you would have done better than any of the analysts under the top 3. Had you bought TSLA at its recent low on March 18th, when it was at $361, or basically anytime before November 2019, you would have a better score than all of those analysts. Consider the following (my expectations): Tesla will prove most people wrong about full self driving, and is likely to announce plans for a “terafactory.” Historically, Tesla was late on several targets, which lowered the stock, but the company always came through, which then made the stock skyrocket.
Nothing above is investment advice. We simply find it fascinating to cover this company, including how it is viewed by Wall Street analysts and how well they do in providing guidance on the company and its stock value.
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