As fearlessly forecasted by billionaire investor icon and CEO of Baron Capital, Ron Baron, from its present value of nearly $400, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) price per share will get to $500 – $600 by next year, before eventually surging to $1,000 in 2020. He shared his insights in a recent session of CNBC’s Squawk Box.
To achieve this phenomenal feat, Baron says that Tesla has to sell at least 1 million vehicles annually, and its solar and battery business should start contributing too. This should translate to an annual revenue of $70 billion and operating profits of $10 billion.
Considering that Tesla’s annual vehicle sales is only 100,000 currently, and even with the expected increase next year from the continuously climbing sales of Model 3, reaching the 1 million target will still be a monumental task. Which obviously, Baron believes Tesla is up for. And his confidence isn’t really unfounded.
Just a few months back, Tesla surpassed two of America’s most valuable auto makers. First it overtook Ford Motors. A week after, it overtook General Motors as its value peaked at almost $52 billion, a mere $1 billion away from Honda’s market cap. A little over a week ago, Tesla’s value surged again and this time, it took on BMW no less as it drove past BMW’s value of $61.3 billion to achieve a record high of $61.6 billion and become the 4th most valuable auto maker in the world.
Baron was once quoted as saying that ‘Tesla may be the most interesting company’ he’s ever invested in over his 46-year career. He is presently a major Tesla shareholder, owning 1.6 million shares which he bought at an average price of $208 – $210. With Tesla now trading at just a little below $400, that means Baron has already profited quite a bit from his long position. TSLA is currently the fifth largest holding in the Baron Opportunity Fund.
Tesla has its EVs to fuel its rise to the top, of course. But it has SolarCity too. Although Baron is one of those who were initially skeptical about the gamble Tesla made in acquiring SolarCity, he has since turned into a believer as he now understands the role SolarCity could play in Tesla’s journey. Because SolarCity has now ventured into selling solar panels that can double as a roof, homeowners have the chance to generate enough solar energy to power not just their homes, but also their Tesla EVs.
So far, Tesla has yet to report any operating income. But that can soon change with the coming of its mass-market Model 3 and its upcoming Model Y. And as the number of Tesla EV owners increases, so could the demand for SolarCity products. Remember, Elon Musk’s goal is for SolarCity to sell products that make homeowners so excited that they want to show their neighbors. And if that translates into sales then that’s more revenue for Tesla.
If everything goes according to plan, then Baron’s prediction of TSLA being the next ticker to join the “$1,000 club” may be quite possible.
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