Can Tesla Really Compete With General Motors And Ford?

Includes: F, GM, TSLA
by: Kapitall

The list below sizes up Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) next to the two biggest American automakers, General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Ford (NYSE:F).

Tesla recently announced stellar earnings, reporting its first profit since the company began 10 years ago. As explains, sales increased 83% over the previous quarter, and 12% of first-quarter revenues came, thanks to California's carbon market, as Tesla sold zero-emission vehicle credits to other automakers.

Do the increasing profits and growing margins merit investment at this point? We compared Tesla and its US competition across a range of criteria, to get a better feel for their financial status and future potential.

Technical Considerations

This includes whether or not the stocks are rallying above their 20-day, 50-day, and 200-day moving averages, indicating that they have strong upward momentum.

We also looked at performance over the last quarter, half year and year, to see which of these companies have outperformed or underperformed over the past year. And we compared the stocks based on price to earnings data, including P/E, Forward P/E, PEG and Price to Free Cash Flow. This can be useful when looking for signs of undervaluation; for example, stocks with a P/E ratio under 15 and PEG ratio under 1 may be considered undervalued.


The list also includes details of each company's Earnings Per Share, from EPS over the last five years to EPS projected into the next five years. EPS growth projected above 20% indicates expectations of high growth.

See the list below for more detailed figures for all three companies.

The List

For an interactive version of this chart, click on the image below. Average analyst recommendation sourced from Zacks Investment Research.

Do you think Tesla will continue to outperform its peers? Use this list as a starting point for your own analysis.

1. Tesla Motors, Inc.: Designs, develops, manufactures, and sells electric vehicles and advanced electric vehicle powertrain components to other automakers. Vehicles include the first entirely electric sports car, the Tesla Roadster, and the Model S, an electric luxury sedan.

  • Market cap at $8.B, most recent closing price at $69.40.
  • P/E: N/A
  • Forward P/E: 51.79
  • PEG: N/A
  • P/Free Cash Flow: N/A
  • EPS growth this year: -45.64%, next year: 930.77%
  • EPS growth past 5 years: 0.00%, 5 years: 46.00%
  • Total Debt/Equity: 3.74
  • Performance (Quarter): 75.79%
  • Performance (Half Year): 122.79%
  • Performance (Year): 113.74%
  • 20-Day Simple Moving Average: 48.37%
  • 50-Day Simple Moving Average: 75.53%
  • 200-Day Simple Moving Average: 120.77%
  • 52-Week High: 1.70%
  • 52-Week Low: 201.96%

TSLA has recorded great gains over the last month, when compared to industry peers. The stock returned 71.36% since 4/9/13, better than General Motors Company and Ford Motor Co., which returned 14.97% and 11.72%, respectively, during the same time period. Looking at competitors with a similar market capitalization, TSLA also beats out Tata Motors Ltd. (NYSE:TTM) (market cap at $15.72B), which returned 13.10% over the same period.

While there has been a notable decrease in shares shorted month over month (from 30.70M to 27.50M over the last month, a decrease which represents about 4.42% of the company's float of 72.46M shares. Days to cover ratio at 7.49 days.), the short float is still very high compared to its industry average. TSLA short float stands at 41.81%, which is equivalent to 9.23 days of average trading volume. As an example, this is much higher than Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY) (short float at 0.0%) and Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (NYSE:HMC) (short float at 0.05%).

And TSLA has impressed more than Wall Street as of late. As Wall St Cheat Sheet reports, Consumer Reports' has given the company's Model S electric luxury sports car a rating of 99/100 - the magazine's highest ever. While many investors will agree there is a promising future for electric vehicles, it remains to be seen if competitors will soon overshadow Tesla in the future.

2. General Motors Company: Operates as a global automaker in 37 countries. Brands include Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Baojun, Holden, Isuzu, Jie Fang, Opel and Vauxhall.

  • Market cap at $43.51B, most recent closing price at $31.65.
  • P/E: 10.91
  • Forward P/E: 7.28
  • PEG: 0.72
  • P/Free Cash Flow: N/A
  • EPS growth this year: -36.28%, next year: 30.24%
  • EPS growth past 5 years: 2.07%, next 5 years: 15.25%
  • Total Debt/Equity: 0.49
  • Performance (Quarter): 11.17%
  • Performance (Half Year): 20.85%
  • Performance (Year): 41.23%
  • 20-Day Simple Moving Average: 3.25%
  • 50-Day Simple Moving Average: 8.40%
  • 200-Day Simple Moving Average: 21.12%
  • 52-Week High: -3.18%
  • 52-Week Low: 67.78%

GM has produced steady gains over the last month, when compared to its closest competitors. The stock returned 14.97% since 4/9/13, better than Honda Motor Co., Ltd. and Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM), which returned 4.38% and 9.88% during the same holding period.

As with Tesla, short sellers also think there's more downside to GM, especially when comparing short float across the industry. GM short float stands at 12.26%, equivalent to 6.02 days of average trading volume.

GM is about to make a billion dollar bet on pickup trucks - specifically the new Silverado, according to Fortune/CNN Money. The completely restyled 2014 model and its sister GMC version are predicted to bring in upwards of $6B in annual gross profit, riding the recent wave of increased pickup sales across the country.

3. Ford Motor Co.: Develops, manufactures, distributes, and services vehicles and parts worldwide. Brands include Ford and Lincoln, and the company also owns small stakes in Mazda and Aston Martin.

  • Market cap at $55.82B, most recent closing price at $14.20.
  • P/E: 10
  • Forward P/E: 8.55
  • PEG: 0.95
  • P/Free Cash Flow: 19.98
  • EPS growth this year: -71.21%, next year: 18.57%
  • EPS growth past 5 years: 3.71%, next 5 years: 10.50%
  • Total Debt/Equity: 6.59
  • Performance (Quarter): 9.48%
  • Performance (Half Year): 26.22%
  • Performance (Year): 36.54%
  • 20-Day Simple Moving Average: 5.50%
  • 50-Day Simple Moving Average: 7.73%
  • 200-Day Simple Moving Average: 22.95%
  • 52-Week High: -0.67%
  • 52-Week Low: 64.46%

Ford has recorded a solid performance over the last month, returning 11.72% since 4/9/13. This performance has not kept pace with TSLA but still beat out Toyota Motor Corporation and Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., which returned 9.88% and 5.84%, respectively, over the same amount of time. And there may be more upside to go. SA contributor David Alton Clark points out Bank of America Merrill Lynch has a $20 twelve month price target on Ford, more than 40% upside from today's level.

Ford has a lower than average projected earnings growth rate over the next 5 years (10.50%), falling significantly below analyst projections for NSANY (projected EPS growth over next 5 years at 61.76% and projected EPS growth over next 5 years at 44.90%).

The company may be trailing GM and TSLA when it comes to key metrics, but that is not stopping them from creating more jobs. USA Today reports that, in total, Ford will add over 2,000 workers to a factory outside Kansas City, roughly 50% coming back after previous layoffs. Since 2011, Ford has hired 9,000 hourly positions in the US, and is on track to reach a goal of 12,000 by 2015, set in a contract with the United Auto Workers

*EPS data sourced from Yahoo! Finance, accounting data sourced from Google Finance, all other data sourced from Finviz.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Business relationship disclosure: Kapitall is a team of analysts. This article was written by Emily Smykal, one of our writers. We did not receive compensation for this article (other than from Seeking Alpha), and we have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.