Wednesday evening, Needham upgraded shares to Hold from Sell. No one has changed their mind about the shares, however: Needham has a new primary analyst covering
Rajvindra Gill had covered Tesla stock for Needham, since 2018, according to Bloomberg. He covers mainly technology companies such as
(NVDA). Gill was no Tesla bull: he essentially had a Sell rating the entire duration of his coverage.
Now coverage has moved to Vikram Bagri. He covers electric vehicles, EV charging, and solar technology. Bagri, for instance, rates
(CHPT) stocks at Buy.
Bagri rates Tesla stock at Hold without a price target. A Hold rating is a lukewarm rating that can generally mean the analyst expects a stock to perform in line with the market or its peers.
The upgrade from Sell doesn’t change the Buy-rating ratio. Today, about 55% of analysts covering Tesla rate shares at Buy. The average Buy-rating ratio for stocks in the
is about 58%.
Losing a Sell rating can matter, though. About 20% of Tesla analysts rate shares at Sell. That’s a lot. The average Sell-rating ratio for stocks in the S&P 500 is about 6%.
The high Sell-rating ratio shows that Tesla stock is still relatively controversial on the Street. Price targets range from roughly $80 at the bottom, down about 70% from recent levels, to $500 at the top, up about 70% from recent levels.
The $420 spread is about 140% of Tesla’s current stock price. That ratio is almost double a similar spread calculation for
Despite losing the bear, Tesla stock isn’t getting much of a boost from the ratings change. Shares are up 1% in Thursday morning trading. The S&P 500 is down about 0.4%, while the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
Coming into Thursday trading, Tesla stock is down about 14% year to date.
Tesla traders will be watching what happens closely to shares the remainder of 2022. Tesla stock has only ended a full year in the red once. That was an 11% decline in 2016. Shares have gained in the other 10 years Tesla has been a publicly traded company.
Write to Al Root at [email protected]