• Dec 8th 2011 at 7:50PM
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Where is Tesla Motor's stock headed? Morgan Stanley thinks the answer is down, down, down. Or, at least, less "up" than previously thought.

Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas seriously downgraded his expectations of the TSLA stock from $70 down to $44. That's still up from the current rate of around $31, but it's enough to cause a nine percent drop in today's trading. We have to side with former Tesla employee Darryl Siry, who asks, "How do you slap a sell rating with a $44 price target on a stock trading at around $35?" We certainly don't understand stocks.

Jonas, a long-time Tesla fan, sure uses positive words to describe what Tesla is doing – "Tesla has orchestrated a near flawless execution through the Model S pre-production phase. ... We expect the Model S to launch on time in July, but to ramp up slower than consensus expectations as the company prioritizes delivery quality over quantity" – but in the stock market, that's apparently not enough. The reason for the Tesla downgrade is that Morgan Stanley is now taking an overall dismal view of plug-in vehicles. Instead of an 8.6 global market share by 2025, Morgan Stanley now predicts just 4.5 percent because traditional gas-powered cars are getting so much more efficient, plug-in vehicle sales have not matched expectations and Europe's economic crisis. So, Morgan Stanley is saying, no matter how good Tesla's EV are, the time just isn't right.

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