Tesla just pushed the 'insane button' on spending

Tesla is about to spend a ton of money.

On Tesla’s fourth quarter earnings call, chief technology officer JB Straubel said Tesla is planning to spend “staggering amounts of money on capex” in 2015.

Specifically, the company will invest $US1.5 billion to ensure it remains profitable in future.

That figure nearly doubled Morgan Stanley’s expectation. In a note Thursday, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas wrote that Tesla has just pushed the “insane button.”

The big story is the >50% projected growth in capex and R&D,” Jonas wrote. “Seems TSLA is preparing to be a much larger company than we have forecast … leaving us with nervous excitement.”

“Tesla’s expected spending levels reflect a company with ambitions to achieve at least 500k units of volume by 2020 … not the 295k units we have forecasted,” Jonas wrote.

Jonas has an “Overweight” rating on shares of Tesla.

For the fourth quarter, Tesla reported earnings that missed big on earnings and revenue.

As Business Insider’s Matthew DeBord reported, Tesla made nearly 12,000 cars in the fourth quarter, but delivered just 9,834 of them, missing its estimate of 11,200 deliveries. Some of these have been pushed to the first quarter of this year, the company said.

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