Goldman Responds To Goldman's Stock Offering of A Goldman-Upgraded Tesla

In what many considered to be a flagrantly criminal abuse of investment bank "restricted lists", yesterday Goldman underwrote a $2 billion equity offering for Tesla (to find its amusing expansion strategy) just hours after Goldman upgraded the stock to a Buy.

We have done our best to alert the regulators...

 

... however we are confident the regulators are paid far better to remain unalerted.

So for those curious what Goldman's research analyst who upgraded Tesla, Patrick Archambault, had to say about this "odd, very odd coincidence", here it is straight from the mouth of the horse which obviously remains stabled safely on the other side of the Chinese wall located at 200 West. 

Commentary: Tesla announces equity offering and provides further details on Model 3 reservations 

 

News

After the close on May 18, Tesla announced a 6.8mn primary share offering. The offering includes a greenshoe option which, if exercised, would increase the number of shares sold to approximately 8.2mn. Based on the May 18 closing price of $211.17, this would result in a total value of $1.4bn for the offering, or $1.7bn if the greenshoe option is exercised. In addition, Elon Musk, CEO, will sell 2.8mn shares to satisfy tax implications from exercising 5.5mn in stock options that expire at year-end. The company noted that Mr. Musk also plans to donate 1.2mn shares to charity and that the net result of these actions will be to increase his holdings to 31.1mn shares from 29.6mn. All said, based on the latest closing share price and including the primary offering, greenshoe, and Mr. Musk's sale, the total size of the transactions would be $2.3bn.

In the preliminary prospectus, the company also provided an update on Model 3 reservations and announced that it had 373k deposits as of May 15, 2016. This is net of 8k (approx. 2% of total) in customer cancelations and 4.2k (approx. 1% of total) reservations deemed to be duplicates. 

 

Implications

 

Adjusting for the announced transaction and the supplemental stock options outstanding, and for restricted stock units (RSU) information, our EPS estimates would be unchanged for 2016-2017. Including the greenshoe, our 2016-2017 EPS estimates would decline by less than 1% on average.

 

Our take

 

We maintain our Buy rating and EPS estimates following the announcement. Additionally, our 6-month price target of $250 remains unchanged, derived from five probability-weighted automotive scenarios plus stationary storage optionality, all of which embed a 20% cost of capital. While the announced capital raise of $1.4bn (or $1.7bn with the greenshoe) is ultimately higher than our $1bn estimate, after factoring in the updated supplemental RSU and option information, dilution to our estimates would be immaterial. Consistent with our previously published research (see Putting in our reservation for the Model 3; upgrading TSLA to Buy, May 18) we believe the funding level is adequate for the Tesla Model 3 roll-out. The reservations of 373k are in line with the company's recent comments of "approaching 400k", though they imply slowing growth (even adding back the cancellation and duplicates) as reservations had already hit 325k one week after the Model 3 unveil.

 

Risks: Decline in overall investor sentiment impacting the appetite for concept stocks, further delays in the Model X production ramp which could force a guidance reduction as well as exacerbate FCF burn, and higher-than-forecast operating expenses and/or capex investments.

Actually the biggest risk factor, and what is most hilarious about this whole incident is that in the Goldman upgrade, which was clearly rushed, and in which Goldman itself admitted there is a two-thirds likelihood the stock will plunge to $125 or lower and the only upside is due to a "key man provision" and a ridiculous thesis that Musk alone is worth tens of billions in market cap (somehow excluding tens of billions in taxpayer grants)...

...  is that all those who bought TSLA on the Goldman report (and/or Goldman stock offering) will actually read it.