Updated DCF model for Tesla confirms overvaluation

BVWireIssue #179-2
August 9, 2017

Back in 2014, Professors Aswath Damodaran (New York University Stern School of Business) and Bradford Cornell (California Institute of Technology) published an award-winning paper that examined the run-up in the price of Tesla stock. The authors presented a detailed discounted cash flow valuation model to determine whether the nearly sevenfold price run-up was anchored in fundamentals or the result of investor sentiment. Based on the valuation estimate, the authors concluded that the stock was overvalued by approximately 150%.

In a new article, Matt Cullen-Meyer (Deliberate Valuation) attempts to update the authors’ valuation model based on current information. The resultant value implies Tesla is significantly overvalued, confirming the conclusion of the authors of the paper. Cornell’s blog points out that Tesla did hit the 2016 revenue figure it used as an aggressive assumption ($7 billion) but did not hit the $200 million in operating profit it used in the model. Tesla had an operating loss of $667 million in 2016 with no effect on stock price. It’s “Tesla 2014 all over again,” says Cornell.

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