Cramer says Tesla CEO Elon Musk is a ‘big thinker’ who makes us look like ‘Lilliputians’

Investing

CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Thursday praised Tesla CEO Elon Musk for building a company that promises to be much more than just electric vehicles.

“This man is selling technology, and he’s talking about fully assisted and then he’s talking about driverless. He’s thinking so much bigger,” Cramer said on “Squawk on the Street.” ”He’s a big thinker. He makes us look like Lilliputians.”

The “Mad Money” host’s comments came one day after Tesla reported its fourth consecutive quarter of profitability, clearing the way to be considered for inclusion in the S&P 500 index.

Shares of Tesla, which have soared over 280% this year alone, were up and down Thursday, trading around $1,620 each. The stock hit an all-time of $1,794.99 last week.

While emphasizing that Tesla’s future is about more than just the cars it builds, Cramer said the company currently stands out because it’s delivering what its legacy automaker rivals can’t.

“When you have demand when the other guys are closing plants because they don’t have demand, what it says is you’re not selling what they’re selling,” said Cramer, who had been a skeptic of Musk and Tesla. “You’re making something entirely different from what they’re making.” 

Tesla’s renewable energy business also distinguishes it, Cramer said. Its energy storage business Megapack just turned in its first quarterly profit. Tesla also reported that solar roof installations tripled in the second quarter, compared to the first quarter of this year. 

“He’s got this whole thing going on with solar and with energy that we don’t talk about enough,” Cramer said, dismissing criticism that Tesla’s revenue relies too much on the sale of regulatory carbon-emissions credits to other automakers.

Chamath Palihapitiya, the venture capitalist and former Facebook executive, told CNBC earlier Thursday that Tesla’s renewable energy component could make it worth trillions. As of Thursday, Tesla’s stock market value was nearly $300 billion. 

“It is the leading hedge when it comes to electrification and decarbonization. This is no longer about cars, that’s the first wave of growth,” Palihapitiya said on “Squawk Box.”

However, not everyone is on the Tesla bandwagon.

Mike Jackson, CEO of car dealer giant AutoNation, said in a separate “Squawk Box” interview, ”The stock price is insane. The valuation is insane.”

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