The best bullish case ever made for Tesla, according to prominent Tesla bear

Whitney Tilson once wagered Tesla wouldn’t report a profitable quarter in 2019. He lost. The former hedge-fund manager early last year also predicted “the beginning of the end” for the stock, with a $100 price target by 2020. Also, a misfire.

Indeed, many a TeslaTSLA, +6.37%bear has been crushed lately as shares keep cranking out record highs and wildly rosy predictions continue to pile up. Ark Investment’s Catherine Wood, for instance, sees a $6,000 a share, and New Street just came out with an $800 target, to name a few.

Love is definitely in the air.

But of all the bullish cases that he’s come across lately, Tilson, in a post highlighted this week on ValueWalk, credits Arne Alsin of Worm Capital for perhaps the best Tesla take he’s ever read.

Alsin describes Tesla as “the best investment opportunity in the market today,” and has bought enough to make it his biggest holding, followed by AmazonAMZN, +0.34%and NetflixNFLX, -1.05% . He says, by 2030, Tesla, which is only in “the second or third inning” of its growth story, could emerge as one of the top five most valuable companies in the country.

“There is an immense level of demand around the world for Tesla, especially in Asia, and a high level of consumer fidelity to the brand—similar to AppleAAPL, -0.15% ,” Alson wrote. “Meanwhile, the firm is just beginning its industrial expansion into additional industries (energy and autonomous rideshare among them) and multiple geographies (Europe, Asia) each worth several trillion dollars.”

He said that the catalysts that will propel the stock’s growth in 2020 include S&P 500 inclusion, bubbling demand in China, and the introduction of the Model Y crossover into several markets. Beyond that, Tesla’s “considerable lead” in autonomy and the viability of its self-driving robotaxi network, he wrote, will be the drivers once the broader market realizes the potential of both.

“I view the company as an undervalued growth firm with considerable room for upside in the near-term and incredible prospects for the long-term,” Alsin said.

He didn’t offer exact price targets but he said his outlook is in line with those calling for Tesla to reach $4,000 a share and to be worth $1 trillion by 2030. The stock is currently trading at $542 with a market cap approaching $100 billion.

“Depending on certain factors that can play out in the next couple of years — from battery Improvements to full-self-driving capabilities — it’s my view that it’s just a question of when, not if, Tesla achieves these valuations,” he wrote.

As for Tilson, well, he’s not pounding the table as a Tesla short anymore, but he’s still far from accepting the future as viewed through such bullish lenses.

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