Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. It’s not Superman — it’s the stock market, which continues to power to all-time record highs following the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-induced crash during the first quarter of 2020.
The big question is if the market is overheating. Considering there are so many COVID-19 and recessionary hurdles still to overcome, it’s something that’s definitely on the minds of Wall Street professionals.
Right now, there are three exceptionally popular stocks that are valued far and away higher than Wall Street’s consensus price target for each company. Should this consensus price target prove accurate, these popular plays could all fall 40%, or more.
Tesla Motors: Implied downside of 46%
It’s perhaps no surprise that megacap highflier Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) makes the list as one of Wall Street’s perceived-to-be most-overvalued companies. Closing on Thursday, Jan. 7 at $816.04, Tesla has a consensus one-year target price of $438.83. That’s an implied downside of 46%.
Tesla has clearly done something right to earn a nearly $774 billion market cap. It has first-mover advantages in the electric-vehicle (EV) space, and its battery technology provides superior range and power, relative to the competition. Though the company fell 450 EVs shy of CEO Elon Musk’s delivery target for 2020, 499,550 deliveries is nothing to scoff at for an auto company that’s been successfully built from the ground up.
However, a close to $774 billion market cap makes a lot of assumptions that simply haven’t been proven true. This is a valuation that assumes Tesla remains the clear leader in U.S. EVs. Yet, it’s ignoring the $27 billion investment General Motors announced for EVs and autonomous vehicles between 2020 and 2025, or the $11 billion Ford ponied up (pardon the pun) for EV research and development. Tesla’s ability to remain No. 1 is suspect, at best, especially when you’re dealing with companies that have deep pockets and storied brands.
Furthermore, the auto industry is plagued by low margins and high debt. Tesla has, thankfully, avoided burying itself in debt. The company also shored up its cash position via stock offerings in 2020. But this doesn’t change the fact that selling autos is a low-margin, capital-intensive business.
What makes this problematic is that Tesla hasn’t shown that it can generate a recurring profit solely from selling EVs. In recent quarters, the company has relied on selling hundreds of millions of dollars of renewable energy credits to other automakers to lift its adjusted profit. Without these credits, Tesla is still losing money from its operations.
Tesla’s valuation isn’t rooted in any common sense, and Wall Street’s consensus price target reflects that.
Cronos Group: Implied downside of 40%
Don’t look now, but Canadian marijuana stocks are on fire. Shares of Ontario-based Cronos Group (NASDAQ:CRON) have catapulted higher by 76% since early October, and they’ve more than doubled off of the company’s 52-week intraday low. But Wall Street isn’t so excited. In fact, the professionals believe Cronos Group’s stock has 40% downside.
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