Jefferies upgrades Tesla to buy from hold but asks Musk to consider “reducing his direct involvement in Tesla”.

Philippe Houchois, equity analyst at Jefferies LLC, upgraded Tesla to buy from hold, moving their price target from $360 to $450, a 24% increase from Thursday’s close.

Tesla shares have already gained around 37% in the last three months and may continue it’s ascendency if a wave of analyst upgrades hit the stock.  The stock price was up 3% for the day, at the time of writing this article.

 Tesla should continue to stand out with broader price points, battery security of supply, product edge and a brand that transcends the volume/premium divide,” Philippe Houchois said in a note to clients Friday. “In short, in the year ahead we think only Tesla will avoid a volume zero-sum-game or negative margin trade-off in EVs.

But he also added “Elon Musk’s erratic behavior makes us wonder if he might be considering reducing his direct involvement in Tesla to focus on product/vision/other ventures,”

Philippe Houchois noted Tesla’s structurally lower capex profile and improved balance sheet risk as some of the factors for his upgrade.

Tesla’s current rally has huge implications for the company, as the stock is now trading above the crucial $359.87 level, the price at which Tesla’s $920 million convertible bonds due in March become eligible for equity conversion.

Tesla stock is no stranger to wild swings. The stock is known to move sharply on the back of news. The amount of profits the company reports in the fourth quarter of 2018 will have a huge bearing on the stock price in the first three months of 2019.