Roth Capital Explains Why Tesla Shouldn't Be Shorted

Shares of Tesla Inc TSLA have downside potential to $150 but investors shouldn't short it at current levels, Roth Capital analyst Craig Irwin said on CNBC's "Squawk Alley."

What Happened: Despite a bearish stance on Tesla's stock, investors should avoid shorting the stock as  CEO Elon Musk has "far too many levers to pull," Irwin said. Most notably, the CEO is expected to announce new projects, such as confirming a small car for the Indian market and a major battery update.

"The cheerleaders are going to be out in force with their million-mile battery or whatever they want to call it," the analyst said. "The reality is I don't think they have anything that the rest of the battery industry doesn't already have."

See Also: 'Best-In-Class Powertrain Technology Affirmed': Analysts React To GM-Nikola Partnership

Why It's Important: Irwin said Tesla's stock isn't valued for its autonomous driving features, rather, it's valued as if the company is a pioneer in teleportation.

Regardless of valuation, Musk deserves some credit for being the leader in electrification today, although there are "many good companies" entering the race.

What's Next: One of the competitors that could challenge Tesla is Nikola Corporation NKLA, fresh off a new partnership with General Motors Company GM.

"When there is a tier-one automotive OEM that ties up with an emerging technology play -- what you have is two companies with very different DNAs coming together and picking the most positive points from both sides of the agreement," the analyst said.

Tesla's stock trades around $351 per share at time of publication.

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