After three years of saying just wait for it, Goldman Sachs says now is the time to go in on Tesla Motors.
The investment banking giant upgraded its recommendation on the stock from “Hold” to “Buy” while maintaining a price target of $250 Wednesday—sending Tesla (TSLA) shares up in early trading.
The last time Goldman gave Tesla a Buy rating was in February 2013—with a price target of $45. Goldman held onto its neutral rating in recent months as well, saying it was seeking a lower entry point. Tesla is currently trading at about $208.
“While we believe [Tesla’s] volume targets are ambitious, Street and investor expectations seem more grounded and following a 23% decline in the share price post the Model 3 unveil, we do not believe Tesla shares are fully capturing the company’s disruptive potential,” wrote a team of Goldman Sachs analysts led by Patrick Achambault in a Wednesday note.
The analysts wrote that Tesla’s stock could rise 22% over the next six months considering the more stable economic environment and higher-than-expected Model 3 demand. And though the company’s production targets—500,000 vehicles in 2018 and 1 million in 2020—are unlikely to be achieved, it could be done.
Tesla is also unlikely to hit major obstacles from other car companies, according to Goldman, despite an uptick in competition from the electric vehicle space from the Chevy Bolt, Audi Q6 e-tron, and Hyundai loniq. That’s in part due to Tesla and CEO Elon Musk’s image.
“Some investors have argued that [Tesla’s] popularity may in fact have little to do with the fact that it’s an electric vehicle, and more to do with the scarcity of the product and the fact that people want to identify with an innovative company that’s looking to enact a broader industry transformation,” the analysts wrote.
That bodes well for Tesla in the long term. Goldman Sachs noted the Model S and Model X cars can reach top five market share in their respective luxury vehicle segments, while the Model 3, considering its price point and demand levels, could become a category leader.