Tesla’s stock soared on Tuesday, continuing a remarkable rally in which the stock has soared for days, weeks and months.
The company’s shares rose as much as 20.5%, trading as high as $940. That valued Tesla at about $170 billion.
Over the past two days, Tesla’s stock is up 40%. This year, it has more than doubled. And Tesla shares have jumped 274% since early last July — momentum that is dialing up the pressure on investors shorting the automaker’s shares.
Driving the gains is increasingly bullish sentiment from Wall Street analysts, who are looking for the company’s new plant in Shanghai to drive growth. Tesla also said Wednesday that it had posted its first annual profit in its 10 years as a public company, beating analyst expectations.
“While Tesla shares remain on a historic rally post earnings, the bull party will likely continue in the near-term as the aggressive trajectory of [the Shanghai plant’s] production and demand out of Shanghai look very strong out of the gates,” Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives wrote in a note Monday.
Solid earnings from Japan’s Panasonic, which supplies Tesla with batteries, also provided a boost, according to Reuters.
The surge propelled Tesla CEO Elon Musk closer to cashing in on a massive pay package. In 2018, shareholders agreed to pay Musk only in stock options, which he can tap only if the company achieves aggressive targets for its sales and market value.
In early January, Tesla rolled out its first Shanghai-made Model 3 cars to the Chinese market. The plant is now delaying production because of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, which led city authorities to extend the Lunar New Year holiday from Jan. 30 until Feb. 9. The holdup “should have a negligible impact on Tesla’s China growth,” Ives wrote.
On the rise
Toyota (TM) is now the only carmaker in the world more valuable than Tesla (TSLA), even though of the top 10 auto manufacturers, Tesla makes up only 2% of total revenues, according to Bespoke Investment Group.
The company’s stock is the most shorted in the United States — though those betting on it to fall have had a tough year, because if the shares rise before they can cash out they have to buy the shares at the higher price to cover their position.
Tesla short sellers have lost more than $8 billion on paper so far in 2020, according to S3 Partners, a financial analytics firm, and $2.5 billion more on Monday alone.
“With [electric vehicle] demand starting to inflect globally, coupled by a short covering for the ages, Tesla shares continue to move higher in a Mahomes-like fashion,” Ives wrote in his note. He was referencing Patrick Mahomes, the quarterback and MVP of this year’s Superbowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs.
Asset manager ARK Invest said in a note Friday that it now expects Tesla stock to hit $7,000 in 2024, based on expectations regarding the company’s ability to bring costs down and other factors. In 2018, ARK said Tesla’s share price should be worth between $700 and $4,000.