Goldman Sachs: Tesla may need to raise $10 billion in 2 years to keep going

  • Goldman Sachs says electric car company Tesla may require as much as $10 billion in additional capital by 2020 to fund the company's operations.
  • "This level of capital transactions may be funded through multiple avenues, including new bond issuance, convertible notes, and equity," analyst David Tamberrino says.
  • Tamberrino believes the stock price will fall to $195 over the next six months, a 31 percent decline.
Tesla Model 3
Source: Tesla
Tesla Model 3

Electric car company Tesla may require as much as $10 billion in additional capital by 2020 to fund the company's operations, according to Goldman Sachs.

"We believe this level of capital transactions may be funded through multiple avenues, including new bond issuance, convertible notes, and equity," analyst David Tamberrino said in a note to clients Thursday. "We see several options available to the company to refinance maturing debt and raise incremental funds, which should allow Tesla to fund its growth targets."

While Tamberrino was confident CEO Elon Musk won't have trouble acquiring the extra cash, the infusion will likely present its own costs. Issuing additional debt could weigh on the company's credit profile, while supplying more stock or convertible bonds would dilute current shareholders.

Tesla declined to comment for this story.

Despite the forecast for additional capital requirements and a sell rating from Goldman, Musk insisted as recently as May 2 he has no intention of raising new money.

Asked earlier this month if he's mulling a capital raise, Musk simply said "no."

"I specifically don't want to," he said on a conference call after Tesla posted first-quarter earnings that beat expectations.

Tesla finished the quarter with roughly $2.7 billion in the bank, down from a balance of $3.4 billion at the end of 2017. The persistent cash burn has kept analysts like Tamberrino unconvinced that the Palo Alto, California-based company can keep going at this pace without a larger financial cushion while short sellers keep the heat on the company's equity.

Tesla shares are down 8 percent this year and closed Wednesday at $286.48, giving the automaker a market value of $48.6 billion.

Tamberrino believes the stock price will fall to $195 over the next six months, a 31 percent decline. The stock was trading slightly higher Thursday morning, at $286.59.