First let me say that I share most of the same investments and philosophies as Saul and others on this board. The one main exception has been my long-term holding of Tesla since 2012 @ $30 and is currently at 13% of my total portfolio. (Tesla finished 2018 at $332.80/sh.)
As a general rule, I don’t invest in capital intensive businesses but Tesla is in a class by itself as the only true pure play electrification company in the auto and energy space driven by advanced and integrated technology & manufacturing capabilities.
Despite all of the persistent FUD and negative press by the media and short community, Tesla has continued to fulfill its mission and execute an extremely disruptive worldwide business across auto and energy. They have unmistakable commercial optionality and leadership in their business segments, have now achieved profitability (Q3 18), and are eating the competition’s lunch to the point where EVs and electrification are the undeniable emerging worldwide standards. If you don’t believe me just take a look at the charts in the article I linked below. In fact Tesla’s Model 3 is now the #1 Selling Car in the USA and may soon achieve the same in lots of other countries.
I believe that Tesla as a business and a stock is about to take off into a very major next growth phase, led by their key competitive advantages which are controlling their own supply chain of batteries (for auto and energy production), being the most automated and lowest cost manufacturer, and having true brand excellence (despite spending essentially $0 on advertising).
An extremely good summary of Tesla’s progress in 2018 was just written by Cleantechnica (https://cleantechnica.com/2018/12/30/2018-was-a-giant-awesom…). I urge you to read it and perhaps even reconsider Tesla as an investment. FWIW, I share the long term optimism of Ron Baron and Catherine Wood in that Tesla’s current market value and stock price could be >10X where it is today within 5-10 years.
Some snippets from this article:
Profits & Stock
"Tesla CEO Elon Musk and his supporting cast forecasted for months that Tesla would achieve a net profit in the 3rd quarter or at least 4th quarter of 2018, and indefinitely from there on out. The story-warping financial press and prominent short sellers wouldn’t believe it, keeping TSLA the highest shorted stock on the market much of the year. None of the skepticism kept Tesla from achieving that target, though.
Just before the 3rd quarter conference call, a vocal financial firm that had been short TSLA for 5 years flipped and went long (citing several CleanTechnica sales charts and narratives in the process). In one day that flip appeared to drive $1.11 billion in Tesla market cap growth. Shortly afterward, Tesla’s 3rd quarter finances came out and the stock soared higher. In the end, sales = money, and money chases money.
Tesla: Picking Up Steam
As it stands, as the year comes to an end, only two auto companies are worth more than Tesla (Toyota and VW), and both of those companies saw declining market caps in 2018. Actually, all major automakers except for Tesla saw their market caps decline in 2018.
Despite what the hugely misled and misleading financial and business press would like you to believe, Tesla had the wonderful year it had due to Elon Musk being at the helm. He drives rapid innovation, critical problem solving, and the company’s tremendous fan support. Anyone trying to get him removed from his position at the top of the company is, in my humble opinion, working against the interests of Tesla and against the interests of humanity. Don’t fall prey to that counterproductive messaging.
There would be no Tesla Model 3 without Elon Musk, and certainly not millions of them. We look forward to Elon’s tweet that Tesla has sold its 1 millionth Model 3, and then its 1 millionth Model Y, and then its 1 millionth Tesla Pickup, and then its 1 millionth Tesla Semi, and so on.
Overall, 2018 was Tesla’s biggest and best year ever, but every year in the coming decade+ should be a significant step higher. Get ready for plaid mode."
I hope you find this interesting and welcome your thoughts.
Happy New Year, and sincere thanks to Saul and each of you for your intelligence, professionalism, and incredible contributions to this board! Honestly I really would hate to think of ever not having this Board to consider in my investment evaluations and research!