Jim Cramer turns bullish on Tesla — 'I'm a true believer'

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CNBC’s Jim Cramer has made a u-turn on Tesla from an “agnostic skeptic” to an “outright bull” on the stock.

The “Mad Money” host on Wednesday exclaimed “I’m a true believer in Tesla,” breaking down his metamorphosis on the electric-car company he classifies as a “battleground stock.”

“All my career I have been fascinated by companies with vociferous bulls and ferocious bears, if only because they can be so entertaining,” he said. “Three things distinguish these stocks from regular run-of-the-mill equities.”

Cult-like followings, complicated financials and charismatic leaders make up three main characteristics of a battleground stock, Cramer said. Each of these qualities played a key role in the host’s conversion into a Tesla fan.

Cramer became a Tesla supporter with the help of lobbying by his wife, Lisa, and daughter. Last month, he revealed that he’s ready to buy a Model X for his wife. Earlier this year his daughter endorsed the Model 3 and Cramer himself was impressed after testing out the Model X, he said.

He was also “stunned” by demand for Tesla’s Cybertruck, which the company revealed in November and drew much attention after its unbreakable window cracked during a live stunt.

As for the company’s balance sheet, Cramer said he gained some valuable information from who he said was among the “most skeptical CFOs in the world.”

“He told me that Tesla could raise $2 billion dollars in a heartbeat — this is not a company that’s gonna have trouble raising money,” Cramer said. “Plus, even the bears recognize that Tesla’s about to have an earnings breakout, perhaps as soon as next year.”

Lastly, CEO Elon Musk’s latest habits have begun to comfort Cramer, who has gone as far as calling for Musk to be replaced as the company’s chief. In 2018, Musk drew scrutiny from the Security and Exchange Commission about his Twitter usage where he shocked the financial world in teasing and later abandoning a plan to take the firm private. Musk later made a settlement with the SEC, agreeing to change how he shares company-related information on the platform.

Musk would settle charges with the SEC, agreeing to relinquish his chairman title, pay a fine and get certain tweets pre-approved. That led to a turning point for Cramer.

“Even better, on that last conference call, he revealed his true rigor without the sardonic quips,” he said. “Musk, it turns out, is a great CEO when he can get out of his own way, and that seems to be what he’s doing.”

“Cult product? Check. Sound balance sheet? Check. Charismatic Leader? Check,” the host said. “If you’re going to invest in a battleground stock, Tesla’s got all the ingredients of a winner.”

Tesla shares gained 3.86% in Wednesday to close at $352.70. The stock is up almost 6% in 2019 and is about $25 off its 52-week high.

Correction: This article has been updated to show that Tesla shares closed at $352.70 on Wednesday and is about $25 off its 52-week high.

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