Charged: Oppenheimer Ups Tesla Target To Street-High $1,036

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'Years Faster Than Competitors'

Oppenheimer analyst Colin Rusch raised the firm's price target on Tesla (TSLA) to $1,036 from $486 to reflect the assumption that the company's autonomous vehicle commercialization can come "years faster than competitors," plus equity market multiple appreciation.

While he has "misgivings" about Tesla not incorporating LiDAR into its vehicles yet, Rusch believes the learning cycles enabled by having over 1 million vehicles on the road is "an extraordinary advantage" that can help Tesla's shadow mode data collection to reach the threshold of 6 billion test miles being driven that should validate L4+L5 ADAS. He keeps an Outperform rating on the shares.

Deutsche Bank analyst Emmanuel Rosner also raised his price target on Tesla to $890 from $705, while keeping a Buy rating on the shares. The analyst sees "strong" volume growth in 2021 for U.S. autos and an ongoing "solid" mix and pricing helped by easy compares, low inventories, and COVID-19-induced demand for comfort, privacy, and protection.

The Democrat victory in U.S. Congress could also result in demand upside from large federal spending on infrastructure and toward vehicle electrification, Rosner told investors in a research note. He believes there is room for upside 2021 guidance surprises.

Solar Inverter

Earlier this week, Goldman Sachs analyst Brian Lee told investors to buy the dip on Enphase Energy (ENPH) following news that Tesla will launch a solar inverter.

Following a series of channel checks, Lee believes concerns around the risk of Tesla significantly impacting the U.S. residential inverter duopoly of Enphase and SolarEdge (SEDG) may be overstated, though Tesla's insourcing of inverters is likely to impact SolarEdge to some degree, given the historical supply relationship between the two. The analyst made no change to his Buy rating on Enphase or Neutral rating on SolarEdge.

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