Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) shares have officially split, with split-adjusted trading beginning on Thursday morning. At the time of this writing, the stock is trading not far below $300. But one analyst thinks shares could soar from here, rising to $360 over the next 12 months. Capturing just how bullish this analyst is, the price target represents more than 20% upside from here.
A key theme behind the analyst’s optimism is Tesla’s improving production capacity. To this end, the Wedbush analyst thinks annual deliveries can soar next year, rising from less than one million in 2021 to about two million in 2023.
While such staggering growth may seem unrealistic at first glance, Dan Ives’ prediction for Tesla to deliver two million vehicles in 2022 is actually quite conservative upon closer examination.
The path to 2 million units
Tesla’s factory in China suffered major setbacks earlier this year when the Shanghai government restricted factory operations as part of its efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. But the automaker said in its second-quarter update that production rates at the important factory have not only rebounded but have risen to record levels by the end of the period.
When investors view this momentum alongside Tesla’s reported continued improvement at its factory in California and its ramp-up in production at new factories in Texas and Berlin, two million deliveries in 2023 begin to seem within reach. After all, Tesla’s factories are already tooled for annualized production rates of more than 1.9 million units annually. And Tesla management hasn’t indicated any intention to slow down its investments in production capacity expansion.