Home » Tesla, Elon Musk’s latest bet is on robotaxis: Stock market divided

Tesla, Elon Musk’s latest bet is on robotaxis: Stock market divided

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Tesla, Elon Musk’s latest bet is on robotaxis: Stock market divided

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A week closed with a session in the red (-2.03%) but overall waiting for Tesla, after the semi-earthquake eight days ago. Reuters had revealed a stop to the Model 2 project, the car “for everyone”, replaced by the launch of robotaxis, self-driving taxis. The stock, already in serious difficulty this year (-30%, it left the group of the Magnificent Seven of Wall Street), had sunk, immediately losing around 6%. CEO Elon Musk had denied it in his own way (“Reuters tells lies”, he wrote on his microblogging platform X), only to then confirm hours after the presentation of Tesla’s robotaxi on August 8. In after-hours trading the stock had gained 5.1 percent.

The unpredictability of Elon Musk

What is happening? Tesla capitalizes around $550 billion. They were 890 in mid-July 2023, after a seven-month rally, which had seen the value rise from lows equivalent to those of four years earlier (largely attributable to Musk’s rise to Twitter, today X). But the multiples remain at the levels of tech companies rather than car companies, 10-20 times those of traditional players, despite the slide. On Bloomberg, the analysts’ consensus on earnings sees a slight decline in 2023 but also a robust recovery starting from 2025.

«The stock – explains Gabriel Debach, Italian market analyst of the eToro investment community – currently trades below the average target price, which is 195 dollars, with a one-year p/ea of ​​approximately 62.3x. Predictions are complex and influenced by several factors, not least Elon Musk’s unpredictable behavior. Tesla is rated at high levels, errors are not allowed. Of the analysts covering the stock, 15 recommend buying, of which 6 with a strong buy rating, 23 recommend holding the position and 9 recommend selling. This distribution of opinions reflects a mixed vision, oscillating between trust and caution.”

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The patience of investors

«Patience – according to Wedbush analyst Dan Ives – is starting to run out among investors. Robotaxis are not the short-term answer to closing the growth gap, unlike the Model 2. And the answers will have to come during the conference call on April 23. Musk will have to quickly take control of the situation to regain confidence in the eyes of the stock market. According to our estimates, around 60% of future growth in the coming years could derive precisely from the fundamental Model 2. As for robotaxis, we do not expect full driving autonomy, without a steering wheel, before 2030. It would be a serious mistake to see it as the ” “magic model” to replace Model 2, a choice that could set the stage for a debacle.”

Why the bet on robotaxis

A bet on robotaxis «can be interpreted – comments Gianluca Di Loreto, Partner and head of automotive Bain Italia – with a view to strengthening the company’s position on the market and its value in the eyes of investors, presenting itself as a technological reality capable of guaranteeing a significant growth and higher multiples in the long term. Robotaxis are the next frontier of sharing, as they will enable very significant cost savings due to the possibility of a car always being in the right place, i.e. where the demand is at that given moment. But we will have to see whether the surrounding universe, and therefore the infrastructure, will favor its success. The diffusion, I believe, will be very partial and will grow very slowly and patchily.”

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