Ron Baron, the chairman and CEO on Baron Capital, tends to invest for the long-term, and he's taking a very positive long-term outlook on Tesla. Speaking with CNBC, he said that he could hold TSLA stock for two decades and make billions as a result:
I think there's a very good chance that I could own this stock for ten, fifteen, twenty years. I think this could be one of the largest companies in the United States, in the whole world. One of the largest!
The vote of confidence from Baron brought a rally to TSLA shares, which closed up 5.28% on the day. Currently, Tesla sits at a market capitalization (the combined value of all its shares) of a little over $34 billion — a far cry from the world's largest companies (Wells Fargo, #10 on the market capitalization list, is worth $246 billion).
Baron has taken an active interest in Tesla, amassing $300 million worth of TSLA shares over the past three years, a position he sees turning into $6-7 billion (which would make Tesla a $780 billion company). He even visits the Tesla Factory in Fremont, California, every few months (one of the perks of owning about 1% of the company). Baron sees Tesla in a position similar to Apple when they introduced the iPhone:
The competition is not anywhere. They could have caught him four or five years ago. But they can't catch him now, he's too far ahead.
Tesla recently raised $1.7 billion through the sale of new shares to help finance production of the Tesla Model 3. While the more-than-373,000 reservations Tesla has for the Model 3 will provide a significant source of revenue, Musk is setting much higher goals for Tesla: 500,000 cars a year by 2018 and a million annually by 2020. Maybe Tesla actually could be one of the world's largest company's some day — Apple and Google were nothing a decade ago, why not Tesla?