(This story is for CNBC PRO subscribers only.) Jefferies nearly doubled its price target on Tesla on Thursday, saying the company's momentum is accelerating and that it looks set to pull away from competitors. The analyst also upped his long term earnings estimates. The investment firm lifted its 12-month price target on the stock to a Wall Street high $1,200, all the way from $650 as shares continue to surpass analyst forecasts. Just this year the red hot stock is up 140%. "Against expectations even a few months back, the gap with peers is widening, from product to battery tech/capacity," analyst Philippe Houchois said. The firm also said the coronavirus has been "an accelerator of the transition to EVs and renewables, from consumers and public policy." To be sure, the stock may remain volatile but the upside is there, Houchois wrote in an early morning note to clients. "Near term, EV friendly incentives in the EU and lower priced Model 3 support H2 volume, making Tesla more resilient than peers," he said. Houchois lowered his 2020 EPS estimate to $1.23 from $2.31, but raised his 2021 estimate by 3 cents to $7.73 and took his 2022 estimate up to $17.48 from $16.43. The company also recently entered into a new three-year deal with Panasonic to supply batteries to its Nevada facility. Tesla stock is up 7% this week and 1.8% in early trading.
Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk takes off his coat onstage during a delivery event for Tesla China-made Model 3 cars in Shanghai, China January 7, 2020.
Jefferies nearly doubled its price target on Tesla on Thursday, saying the company's momentum is accelerating and that it looks set to pull away from competitors. The analyst also upped his long term earnings estimates.