Adam Jonas became famous – and to some, infamous – on Wall Street when he called for Tesla's stock to more than double to $70 a share.
He made that call in 2011 as Morgan Stanley's auto analyst, saying Tesla was set to "shake-up" the "complacent" auto industry. He continued to follow up with bullish price target increases as the electric automaker's shares rose. While Tesla has been a volatile stock in the years since, it now trades at around $350 a share.
The prediction earned Jonas a reputation inside Morgan Stanley as "kind of a mad scientist," he said in a recent interview. Now he's doing it again – but with the space industry.
His interest in Tesla naturally led him to SpaceX, Elon Musk's other ambitious transportation venture, which Jonas believes is bound to affect the future of the electric car maker. SpaceX is getting into broadband technologies at the same time the auto industry and Tesla are pushing into advanced technologies like autonomous driving.
"We didn't start out one day thinking 'hey, let's do space,' necessarily," Jonas said. While visiting Tesla in 2010, Jonas stopped by SpaceX. After that, Jonas started gathering other Morgan Stanley analysts to help him research the space industry.
His early efforts may be about to pay off. This year has been "very, very active in terms of capital formation and then technological advancement" in the space industry, he said. And Morgan Stanley has been talking to many of the new space companies, including: OneWeb, Rocket Lab, Vector, FireFly Aerospace, Spaceflight Industries, Planet Labs, Spire Global, BridgeSat and NanoRacks – to name a few.