Hertz is on track for its best day of 2016 after getting a two-step upgrade from Morgan Stanley auto analyst Adam Jonas. On the "Halftime Report" today he explained the call, as well as his recent price target cut on Tesla. Despite the cut, he still has an overweight rating on the electric car maker.
While Jonas remains cautious on the car rental market in general, he does see a 30% upside for Hertz. The stock has rallied 52% over the past month, thought it remains down 23% year-to-date.
A shift in management structure at Hertz is the primary reason behind the call. There have been many changes in the car rental business over the past couple of years, and Hertz's management recognizes that they need to be proactive, argues Jonas. They have implemented new strategies to curb the negative effects of increased competition from ride-sharing services, such as their $900 million cost-cutting plan.
When it comes to Tesla, Jonas thinks the road ahead might be rough in the short term. He remains overweight the name, but he did slash his price target to $333 back in February.
Speaking publicly for the first time since that call, Jonas argued that "the very significant decline over many months in oil prices" was one of the primary driving forces. He believes that Tesla "sits at the intersection of tech, energy, and capital markets' openness," so a sea change surrounding any of these areas will pressure the stock.
That said, he remains optimistic that Tesla will weather the storm.
"We still see a 60% upside for Tesla"
At Morgan Stanley Tesla is ranked second only to Ferrari. He believes it is well-positioned to be a leader in machine learning, AI, and robotics. More boldly, he argues that Tesla has the capacity to "reinvent transportation."
Trader disclosure: On March 11, 2016 the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC's "Halftime Report" were owned by the "Halftime Report" traders:
Josh Brown: Long AAPL, BABA, DE, DNKN, JMBA,LOW, LNKD, SAM, SHAK, SPWR, TWTR, XLE, XON
Stephanie Link: Long AAPL, AVGO, BAC, CB, CCL,COST, CRM, CSCO, CVX, DAL, DLPH, DOW, ESRX, GOOG, GOOGL, HON, JPM, LOW, LPX, LRCX, LULU, MCD, MGM, MS, MSFT, PF, PG, PH, PM, PPG, PRU, QCOM, SLB, STI, SWK, SYF, TJX, UNH, URI, V, WFC, WHR
Jon Najarian: Long ABX, FDX, GDX, GDXJ, SCTY. Long calls AET, CA,COP, DVN, ETE, FIT, JOY, IP, MCD, MDLZ, MSFT, MYL, NEM, PBR, SCHW, TSLA. Long puts JCOM