The Ratings Game: Tesla stock rockets past $750 after analyst sets new Street-high target

Tesla Inc. stock rallied more than 20% on Monday after one analyst set sights on it past $800.

Argus Research analyst Bill Selesky raised his price target on Tesla to $808, from $556, and kept his rating on the stock at a buy. That price target implies gains of 11% from Monday’s prices and is among the highest on Wall Street.

Tesla TSLA, +19.89% shares closed at $780 and traded as high as $786.14, setting a new record close and a new intraday high. It was the stock’s largest one-day percentage increase since May 9, 2013, when it rose 24.4%. The stock has gained for five straight sessions and has been hitting ever-higher marks since mid-December.

“Our positive view assumes continued revenue growth from the legacy Model S and Model X, as well as strong demand for the new Model 3, which accounted for more than 80% of (fourth quarter’s),” Selesky said.

“Despite past production delays, parts shortages, labor cost overruns, and other difficulties, we expect Tesla to benefit from its dominant position in the electric vehicle industry and to improve performance in 2020 and beyond.”

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Selesky is the latest analyst to raise expectations for Tesla on the back of a strong quarterly earnings beat.

Tesla last week topped heightened Wall Street hopes for its fourth quarter and perhaps more crucially set itself the goal of selling more than half a million vehicles this year. It also revealed that production of its next vehicle, a compact SUV called the Model Y, was ahead of schedule.

The electric-car maker warned that the ongoing coronavirus outbreak may affect its first-quarter profits, calling for a slight delay in the production ramp of its Shanghai-built Model 3 due to a virus-related factory shutdown. But since production there is in its early stages, that impact is limited, Tesla has said. It added it was not aware of “material” supply disruptions for its cars built in California.

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The beat and the optimistic outlook prompted a few Tesla skeptics to question their bearishness and provided plenty of fodder for bulls.

Tesla shares have gained 132% in the past 12 months, far outperforming advances of 20% and 13% for the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.73% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.51% .