The Tesla Stock Price Is Down 38%, but We’re Still Bullish on Electric Vehicle Stocks

Tesla Inc.’s (NASDAQ: TSLA) most recent earnings report showed the company was rapidly bleeding money. In fact, the Tesla stock price is down 38% since December 2018 following its reported $702 million loss last quarter.

Despite the negative headlines, Money Morning is still bullish on the electric vehicle market

In the company’s Q1 2019 report, Elon Musk signaled that Tesla needed to raise capital by issuing new debt or equity financing. It’s a drastic change in tune from his original exclamations that the company didn’t need any more money.

Wall Street analysts say Tesla needs to raise a minimum of $1 billion to $2 billion to match the company’s expenses. But some fear that it’s too little too late for the firm to cheaply raise capital. Since December’s high of $376.79, Tesla’s stock has tanked to $235.14. That’s its lowest price since January 2017.

Tesla’s sinking stock and increased losses are bad news for its bonds as well. Tesla’s 5.3% unsecured bonds currently trade for $0.85 each and are due by 2025. This will result in a yield of 8.4% – which is 1% higher than the year before.

But given the company’s trajectory, The Wall Street Journal reports that investors think bonds absolutely need to be sold at an interest rate of 9%. If Tesla issues new bonds, the company will have to offer nearly double the interest rate of its last offering to make them attractive to investors.

Otherwise, investors could just go out and buy the original bonds. So, it’s ultimately not in Tesla’s best interest to issue more bonds moving forward.

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Some analysts still think the company can raise the money it needs, though. Even after its massive stock price drop, its market value is hovering just above $40 billion.

This puts it slightly behind Ford Motor Co.‘s (NYSE: F) value of $41.1 billion. Since Tesla is worth $40 billion and that’s higher than its debt, it can issue more bonds.

However, Tesla hasn’t issued new bonds or stocks since 2017, when it raised $1.8 billion selling off its first unsecured bonds. Since then, the company has shifted its focus to generate profits from its own operations.

In Q4 2018, Tesla saw a GAAP profit of $139 million after roughly $600 million in losses the quarter before. In Q1 2019, its losses increased again to roughly $700 million. This means Tesla lost close to $1.3 billion in less than six months.

But there’s a little bit of a silver lining for Tesla’s profitability. Back in March, Tesla got a $520 million secured credit line from a variety of Chinese banks to fund its new Shanghai-based factory.

Unfortunately, Tesla has also reported that it has $2.2 billion in cash – a 40% drop from the three months prior. Beyond that, the company is anticipating another loss in Q2 2019. No numbers were provided, but the company says it’ll be profitable by the end of Q3 as it ramps up its effort to deliver new vehicles.

There are plenty of pros and cons for Tesla raising funds, though. If the company were to sell new stock, it would water down current shareholders like Elon Musk himself – who owns 20% of Tesla. But new shares wouldn’t necessarily increase the firm’s debt, either. In fact, some think it would cause a resurgence in Tesla shares if investors were to welcome the cash infusion.

Tesla has always been a crazy volatile company for investors. Because of this, Money Morning cannot recommend buying Tesla stock.

While Tesla stock has tanked over the last several months, the electric vehicle market is still a very lucrative opportunity for retail investors

Electric Vehicle Stocks Spell Big Profits for Savvy Retail Investors

In 2018 alone, global electric vehicle sales grew 64%, surpassing 2.1 million according to EV-Volumes.

In December, electric vehicles accounted for 3.8% of all light vehicles and 2.2% of the entire global market.

All-electric vehicles accounted for 69% of all EV sales while plug-in hybrids made up 31%.

Right now, the biggest growth in the electric vehicle market is in China. Between 2017 and 2018, electric vehicle sales in China jumped 500,000 units to 1.2 million total. Beyond that, China accounted for 56% of all plug-in hybrid sales.

But Europe has also been stepping up its game – accounting for 34% of all electric vehicle sales.

However, the United States is slightly behind. But in 2018, electric vehicle sales skyrocketed 79% in the states. Tesla’s vehicles made up 138,000 of all electric vehicles sold in the U.S.

In Norway, 40% of all new car sales were electric vehicles, while in Iceland and Sweden, electric vehicles accounted for 17.5% and 7.2% of total new car sales respectively.

By 2020, global sales are expected to double to 4.5 million. This would account for 5% of the overall light-vehicle market worldwide.

Beyond that, all major legacy car manufacturers have been gearing up for the electric vehicle market. Companies like Ford, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (NYSE: FCAU), General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM), and Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) have already committed billions to the development of their own electric vehicle lineups.

Because of this, savvy retail investors will not want to sleep on legacy car manufacturers with the coming electric vehicle revolution.

Tesla may have led the charge, but it’s no longer at the helm of the movement. Legacy manufacturers have the experience and profitability to take advantage of this lucrative shift into electric vehicles.

With major companies showing off major electric vehicle lineups, we’re still very bullish on electric vehicle stocks.

So, while Tesla is going through its cyclical crash and burn, Money Morning has the best electric vehicle stocks to buy here

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