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Tesla Rallies as Wall Street Touts Sales Growth Despite Covid-19 Disruptions

By Yasin Ebrahim - Tesla accelerated higher on Monday as Wall Street talked up the electric automaker's potential to grow sales by more than a quarter despite expressing concerns the coronavirus pandemic will hurt its output at its factories in both the U.S. and China and delay its Berlin factory launch.

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) rallied 6%.

Jefferies upgraded Tesla to buy from hold, but cut its target price on the stock to $650 from $800, estimating that the company would likely grow sales by 27% this year, despite its U.S. car factory grinding to a halt amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Jefferies said it expected production to be almost zero for four to six weeks and run 50% below normal levels for three months. The brokerage firm also sees a virus-led impact over the longer term, forecasting that Tesla's plans to open its Berlin factory could be delayed by up to six months.

The note comes just days after Tesla reported first-quarter deliveries that not only topped analysts estimates, but also represented the "best ever" first quarter of production.

Tesla said it had delivered about 88,400 in the first quarter of 2020, markedly up from 63,000 vehicles delivered a year earlier and above analysts' expectations for 79,908.

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