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Tesla looks good in 2020 despite near-term risks, says analyst

Tesla may look expensive and risky in the near-term, but that may miss the point.

Shares of the electric carmaker are "expensive on near-term metrics," but investors have to value the company more on what it can deliver in 2019 or 2020, said Guggenheim analyst Rob Cihra, speaking on CNBC's "Power Lunch" on Thursday.

"And while that may in some ways sound silly," he said, "that really is the point. This is a company that is still just getting going, they are still spending a lot to build the infrastructure to build a lot more cars."

But in a few years, Cihra said he thinks the company could could be "pretty huge."

Cihra noted that Tesla's decision to raise capital again, announced Wednesday, was expected by investors, and "is pretty darn small when it comes to dilution."

Stocks often fall after a company announces a capital raise because investors fear their investment's value will be diluted by the additional stock. However, Tesla's stock finished nearly 2.5 percent higher Thursday.

The company plans to raise $1.15 billion ahead of its Model 3 launch.

Cihra is also skeptical of the notion that possible changes to state or federal laws around emissions or tax credits for electric vehicles pose any real threat to his investment case, or to the future of electric cars in general. California's Zero Emissions Vehicle credits, for example, form an ever smaller share of Tesla's revenue, and are "minute in terms of what I am looking for them to earn over the next several years."

"I think people are buying electric vehicles because they want to buy electric vehicles, whether they get tax credits or not," he said.

Other analysts took a dimmer view of Tesla's recently announced capital raise. CFRA's Efraim Levy said the lower-than-expected capital raise suggests Tesla may not end up with enough cash on hand. Likewise, Colin Langan of UBS said in a note Thursday that the company may have to return to markets yet again in the future.