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Market misvaluation of capital-intensive companies

Discussion in 'TSLA Investor Discussions' started by neroden, Feb 3, 2017.

  1. neroden

    neroden Model S Owner and Frustrated Tesla Fan

    Apr 25, 2011
    Ithaca, NY, USA
    I have a theory for why there are *so* many analysts, big investors, traders, article-writers, and so on who cannot get their heads around the situation of Tesla. Apart from the usual status quo bias, etc.

    For several decades, the vogue in investing has been "low capital" companies -- companies which don't need much capital. This is sort of understandable because it means high return on capital. But there are now enough analysts who were raised chasing these companies with no capital expenses and no overhead -- internet companies or whatever -- that there aren't very many around who actually understand how to analyze a capital-intensive business sector.

    So these analysts who don't understand capital investment look no further than the cash flow sheet -- they wouldn't even look for deferred maintenance. This leads to all these people who value Tesla as if it were, not noticing that there is actual physical capital which has real tangible book value in Tesla.

    Those who do analyze capital-intensive business sectors, on the other hand, are not used to growth industries. Most of the capital-intenstive business sectors -- like railroads or steel mills -- are old sectors with low growth rates.

    Personally, I stopped investing in non-capital-intensive industries a while back for a very simple reason. If they don't need capital, *why are they issuing stock to the public*? The only reason not to stay private is to get capital. Therefore if a non-capital-intensive business has an IPO, it's because the management is trying to get out. However, a capital-intensive business may *have* to go to the stock market -- which was the situation with Tesla, luckily for me.
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