"Tesla - and other tech giants - are not overpriced"

Why are the shares in controversial technology businesses such as Tesla – which is losing hundreds of millions of dollars each month – so expensive?

The electric car and power storage business has seen its shares fall approximately 20% since mid-2017, but the business still has a market value of $49 billion. Yet in the first quarter of 2018 its losses neared $800 million.

In this video Josh Spencer, a technology analyst and portfolio manager with T Rowe Price, argues that the traditional measures used by analysts to value businesses do not readily apply to certain rapidly-growing firms.

Josh Spencer’s T Rowe Price Global Technology fund has been identified and selected by Cazenove Capital as a potentially attractive holding for some clients.          

Speaking at an event in London hosted by Cazenove Capital, he said: “We have to look beyond the reported financials at the earnings potential.” It’s about “buying tomorrow’s winners” and not being deterred by “trailing financial metrics”.

His words might sound familiar to investors who recall some of the extraordinary claims made about technology businesses in the late Nineties, many of which went on to fail.

But Mr Spencer said there were key differences today.

In the case of Tesla, he argued, the “underlying economics do work”. Citing Amazon as an example of a fast-growing firm that followed a similar course, he believes it is a matter of building sufficient scale after which the business will become cash-generative and highly profitable.

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