Will Tesla rally get a recharge?

The electric car maker's performance might be driven more by news of the Model S sedan than quarterly earnings.

By Benzinga Feb 20, 2013 2:40PM
Electrical plug copyright Jupiterimages, Getty Images By Sam Mattera 

Electric carmaker Tesla (TSLA) will report Wednesday after the closing bell. Analysts are currently expecting the company to post a loss per share of $0.53 on revenue of $298.9 million.

The company has been a tremendous performer recently -- shares are up nearly 20% in the last three months alone. Despite this rally, shares remain heavily shorted: Nearly 40% of Tesla's outstanding shares have been sold short.

The Model S has gotten a bit of publicity in the last few weeks, though much of it hasn't been flattering. A reporter for The New York Times, John Broder, claimed that, in test driving a Model S given to him by Tesla, his vehicle ran out of electric power before it finished a planned route and had to be towed away.

Tesla's outspoken CEO, Elon Musk, took to his twitter account to publicly dispute Broder's claims, alleging that Broder had taken a detour and failed to fully follow the instructions given to him by Tesla's staff.

At any rate, the Model S has been critically acclaimed, winning Motor Trend's 2013 "Car of the Year" award. Still, the car has faced a number of common criticisms leveled at nearly all electric cars, notably the vehicle's limited range.

Tesla analyst Andrea James at Dougherty & Company is bullish on the stock ahead of earnings. "We believe there is plenty of room for investor sentiment to improve," James told Benzinga.

Shares of Tesla were roughly flat ahead of the earnings report, trading around $39 per share.

More from Benzinga
Feb 21, 2013 8:02AM

TSLA will not work for me.  I can't deny Musk is incredibly intelligent, driven and successful, but this is about the Tesla...


The 'S' is the best in breed for battery technology, and its extended range got me to doing homework.  I think this vehicle fits a very narrowly focused group because of its price point.  With so many inexpensive internal combustion options that could be cost effective as disposables; hybrids with extended ranges at less than half the cost; other dedicated electrics like the Leaf with reduced range; a buyer has to have desires outside of energy and price efficiency to want to buy.


I find the car stunning.  I would love to own one.  I need my transportation to do a variety of things well at a reasonable cost.  I'm afraid Musk and his engineers will have to push battery technology to the next level for this to work for a more inclusive audience.  For a long-term investor willing to bet that they will,  TSLA will probably work fine now.


I will wait for the next step in battery tech for the car and the stock...



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