Tesla shares accelerated to an all-time high on Monday, making it the second-biggest automaker by market value after the green automaker headed by Elon Musk reported better-than-expected first-quarter delivery numbers.
Shares in the company climbed as much as 5.7 per cent to $294.15 and took the company’s market value to $47.6bn, ahead of Ford’s $45bn, at pixel time. Ford shares were down 2.4 per cent to $11.37 after the company said auto sales fell 7 per cent in March from a year ago.
The advance in Tesla shares came a day after the company said it delivered just over 25,000 vehicles in the first quarter, up 69 per cent from a year ago. Of that, about 13,450 were Model S, and about 11,550 were its falcon-winged Model X vehicles. The company has set a goal of delivering 47,000 to 50,000 vehicles during the first half of this year.
The Palo-Alto based carmaker also said its production totalled a record 25,418 vehicles in the first quarter.
Moreover, the company said its quarterly deliveries record was conservative as it only included cars that were transferred to the customer with correct paperwork. The final numbers could vary by 0.5 per cent.
Analysts at Morgan Stanley, who have an “overweight” rating on the stock, said the deliveries were 6 per cent above their forecast. “We had not expected a single quarter in 2017 to surpass 25k units – including the 4Q when we expect initial deliveries of Model 3,” said Adam Jonas, an analyst at Morgan Stanley. “We had not expected more than a 25,000 run-rate for S and X until the middle part of 2018, at least 1 year from now.”
Meanwhile, Ben Kallo at Baird said Tesla is on track to “meet and/or exceed” guidance for the first half of the year, adding that the “stock could make new highs given recent execution”, as the company continues towards its Model 3 production ramp.
Following delays that plagued its Model X vehicle, some had been anxious about production constraints for the company’s much-anticipated Model 3 car, which is set to cost about $35,000 before incentives. But the automaker’s first quarter numbers now allow investors to focus on the Model 3.
Tesla shares are up 36 per cent so far this year and up more than 1,600 per cent since the company went public in 2010.