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Tesla five times overvalued: Trader

With Tesla shares surging 66 percent in the last year, one trader thinks the electric automaker is "five times overvalued."

"I think the company is worth $5 or $10 billion, not $35 billion," Vilas Capital's John Thompson said on CNBC's "Closing Bell."

"It's such a big market cap that I don't see how they could in any reasonable time frame live up to that valuation."

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To put it in perspective, Tesla's market cap is bigger than John Deere, which has $35 billion in revenue compared with Tesla's $2 billion to $3 billion over the past 12 months, he pointed out. It is also more than twice that of Fiat, which owns Chrysler, Maserati, Fiat and Ferrari.

A vehicle charger at a Tesla Motors store
Emile Wamsteker | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A vehicle charger at a Tesla Motors store

"The problem with paying far too much for a stock like this is that the future that you hope is going to come isn't nearly as good as you hoped and the stock falls dramatically," Thompson said.

The electric carmaker has a "paradoxical problem," he added. If electric vehicles become widely accepted, then it will face stiff competition from the likes of Honda, Toyota, Audi, BMW, Ford, General Motors and others who will get into the game.

"Conversely if the market isn't big, those companies won't enter but Tesla's stock will crash," he said.

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However, Long Board Asset Management's Cole Wilcox is bullish on Tesla.

"It's not a valuation trade. I like stocks that go up and make new highs and this thing seems to have a lot of juice," Wilcox told "Closing Bell."

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Plus, it is going into the next product cycle release, with the Model X coming out in the first quarter of 2015, he noted. The Model X will be "a much bigger product cycle than the Model S."

"[Tesla] is a freight train in front of the short sellers who continue to short this thing," he said.

—By CNBC's Michelle Fox

Disclosures: John Thompson is short Tesla. Cole Wilcox is long Tesla.

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