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Tesla reports earnings this afternoon. Traders share whether it's a buy here

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Tesla reports earnings Monday. Traders share what to expect

Tesla is coming off a wild week.

The automaker is undergoing investigations in the U.S. following a fatal crash in Texas and is under criticism in China after a woman's protest at a major auto show.

Morgan Stanley is sticking by the stock. Analyst Adam Jonas increased his price target to $900, implying 23% upside. The stock closed Friday at $729.40.

All this came ahead of earnings out Monday afternoon. Analysts expect profit of 75 cents a share in its March-ended quarter, up from 25 cents a year earlier. according to FactSet. Sales are forecast to have grown 75% to $10.48 billion.

Danielle Shay, director of options at Simpler Trading, says recent bad news surrounding the company has kept a lid on the stock.  

"That's actually putting it into a great position going into the earnings report. If you look at the way that Tesla has behaved on earnings — yes, last quarter they did pull back after earnings, but that was after doubling the stock price throughout the quarter — prior to that, we've seen Tesla trade higher on earnings," Shay told CNBC's "Trading Nation" on Friday.

History should repeat itself this quarter, she predicts.

"It's in a great spot to sell put credit spreads, either at the money or out of the money, to really take advantage of that high implied volatility due to all the news surrounding Tesla, and I'm looking for the stock to trade higher after the report," said Shay.

Even if it does not pan out that way, Shay is still bullish on the stock. She says any pullback presents an opportunity to buy on weakness.

Craig Johnson, chief market technician at Piper Sandler, is also a Tesla fan heading into earnings.

"The stock is still down 20% from its highs … [but] we've broken the uptrend support line and, from my perspective, this is a stock that should be bought heading into earnings. If you look back at the quarterly earnings prints, you can see that 70% of the time this stock has beat on the bottom line."

Tesla's parabolic 2020 rise has gone to middling growth this year. The stock is up 3% in 2021, underperforming the S&P 500's 11% increase

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