That's what the bears have been calling Tesla's (NASDAQ:TSLA) latest item of news. Don't believe me? Go back and read the comments to some of my previous articles. The news, we'll get into in a second.
But, for now, let's just look at that line of logic.
I've long argued that Tesla's valuation, which seems to be the crux of the bear argument around the company, is justified as long as the company can continue to meet the lofty goals that it has set out for itself. With its recent foray into China and its announcing that it sold 6,900 vehicles in the fourth quarter of 2013, it's looking like Tesla remains on the track to execute.
And, much like my thesis on Herbalife (NYSE:HLF) right now, when the opposition to your argument is devoid of facts, why not just either personally attack the author - or, simply, make something up?
Politicians use this method to get elected all the time.
For those of you that have been living in the Van Allan radiation belt for the last 10 years, Tesla is an American auto maker of electric vehicles, founded in 2003, based out of California. Under the leadership of CEO Elon Musk, the company posted its first profit in its 11 year history last year, 2013. Up to that point, the company used its leverage as a public company to put into motion an immense set of plans to basically alter the "typical" gas and automaker relationship.
As all big thinkers know, the bigger the plans, the tougher the massive rock is to push up the hill. Overthrowing oil and gas in an effort to rewrite the entire auto industry? That's a big rock. But, in Tesla's case, when you start to get a little momentum behind you, things can swing in the other direction that much faster than you ever thought possible. We're starting to get a little taste of that now.
The company now trades at over ten times its original IPO price where, famously, Elon Musk took jabs at Jim Cramer for his calling Tesla "not a smart investment" at $17/share.
Tesla has traded immensely well for its investors over the past year, as well. Due to the company becoming profitable, the market now values the company at over $20 billion and the last 12 months has held 380% gains for those that invested.
The main beef that the bears have with Tesla is the valuation. The company has a forward P/E ratio somewhere over the 200 level and if Tesla does anything short of infiltrating and completely rewriting the book both on electric cars and the auto industry, the company is arguably too expensive on paper. Good thing for Tesla longs, however, that revolutionizing the entire industry is exactly what CEO Elon Musk is focused on. Musk, a certified genius with a track record of execution, is known to revolutionize entire sectors before he even finishes his daily Cinnamon Toast Crunch in the morning.
OK, that was a joke. Everyone knows Musk is too busy working and doesn't have time for breakfast.
And while we look at Tesla's newest news, the bears are somewhat right - it is considered a somewhat "fluffy" press release. However, it's Tesla's right as a company, after all of the goals they've met, to toot their own horn a little bit. And, the news is a direct product of the company being able to do exactly what they set out to do - revolutionize and add prestige and elegance to the electric car industry.
Tesla's website reported:
At midnight tonight, a Tesla Motors team will depart Los Angeles en route to New York City in two Model S sedans to mark the completion of the first cross country Supercharger route. We're aiming to complete the journey within about three days and set a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS achievement for lowest charge time for an electric vehicle traveling across the United States.
We energized the final Supercharger in the cross country route last week, marking the completion of a network that spans more than 3,400 miles. There are now more than 70 Supercharger sites around the US, at which Model S owners can charge for free. A Supercharger takes as little as 20 minutes to replenish half a charge.
The Cross Country Rally team will gather tonight at the Tesla design studio in Hawthorne, Los Angeles, for a launch event, before starting the drive at 12.01am on Thursday. The trip will take the cars through mid-winter conditions across the middle of the country, with stops only at Superchargers.
See what's going on here? Tesla has built and engineered the infrastructure necessary to rewrite the entire electric car field and, like a scientist calmly lecturing on his newest confirmed discovery, they're putting the principal in motion for people to see.
"Don't understand how the Supercharger network works?" I can see Musk smugly asking, "We're going to drive an electric car across the U.S. with the least amount of charge time - of anybody - in the history of the world. Understand it now?"
So, as you may have guessed, this PR - although being not about the numbers behind the company - isn't just a stunt. Tesla is going to be able to do more cool stuff like this the more they, as a company, meet and exceed their goals.
This cross country drive isn't just a neat PR headline for the company, it's history in the making and engineering excellence personified. It's a momentary "icing on the cake" for Musk and his team, who are no doubt working hard enough on the next set of growth problems the company is facing that they aren't even paying close attention to the cross country drive.
I remain bullish for the long term on Tesla. Not unlike the company itself, the longs in Tesla have vision - they can see the forest through the trees. Musk and his team have my trust through proving they can meet goals and have the business acumen necessary to back up their idea for the future.
Ride on, Elon.