Pro Analysis

Buy Tesla before earnings report later this month because sales likely to beat the Street, analyst says

Elon Musk, chairman, CEO and product architect of Tesla Motors
VCG | Getty Images
Elon Musk, chairman, CEO and product architect of Tesla Motors

Investors should purchase Tesla shares because sales results will top expectations later this month and because the electric car maker will likely have positive upcoming product news that drives the stock higher, according to Baird, which reiterated its outperform rating Thursday.

Tesla is slated to report fourth-quarter earnings on Feb. 22, according to its website.

"We are buyers ahead of Q4 results. We expect updates on the Model 3 and Gigafactory production ramps on the call, which we believe will drive shares higher," analyst Ben Kallo wrote in a note to clients Thursday. "We expect less focus on the SCTY acquisition, although there may be short-term noise as expectations are calibrated. We believe the Q4 report is another de-risking event, and recommend investors own shares."

The Gigafactory is Tesla's new battery factory being built in Sparks, Nevada. It is will begin production by the end of 2017, according to the company. The Model 3 is Tesla's next car release and will start at a more affordable $35,000 price point.

Shares of Tesla gained Thursday after the car maker told Reuters it was shutting down its California assembly plant to prepare for production of the new Model 3 sedan, a move traders took to mean it was likely to meet its production target start date of July for the highly anticipated vehicle.