Tesla surges past $500 on back of analyst upgrade, China momentum

Today in regular trading, shares of American electric car manufacturer Tesla surged past the $500 mark.

Tesla, perhaps the most famous electric vehicle company in the world, has had a tumultuous last 12 months on the public markets. The company’s shares have traded as low as $176.99 in the past 52 weeks, and, as has high as $507.50 today.

The company is worth $507.28 per share at the moment, valuing Tesla at $91.38 billion according to Google Finance. As is often pointed out, Tesla is worth more than Ford and General Motors combined. In a slightly more exotic formulation, Tesla is worth just under 64 times as much as Aston Martin.

What’s going on?

Why is Telsa surging? We presume that it’s not the latest from Musk, that “Teslas will soon talk and make fart noises,” according to CNBC. (At least we hope not.)

Instead, an investor upgrade this morning could be the key reason for the company’s gains today. As IBD points out, the new target from Oppenheimer is over $600 per share.

That’s today’s runup explained. The morning’s rally, however, is tied to the company’s rising growing operations in China and global delivery figures.

China’s automotive market is moribund and shrinking at the moment, and the Chinese government’s incentives for electric cars have fallen. Small issues, it appears, for Tesla bulls. (Tesla’s success allowed NIO to go public, a China-based electric car company; another is hoping to follow in its footsteps.)

Since delivering its first China-produced cars earlier this month, Tesla shares have shot higher. After cracking $400 in early December, Tesla is now up another 20%.

There is more good news to point to at Telsa, like its recent car delivery results. As TechCrunch’s own Kirsten Korosec reported earlier this month:

Tesla said Friday that it delivered 367,500 electric vehicles in 2019 — 50% more than the previous year — a record-breaking figure largely supported by sales of the cheaper Model 3. More than one-third of those deliveries — about 112,000 vehicles — occurred in the fourth quarter. The electric automaker reported production also grew 10% from the previous quarter, to 105,000 vehicles.

That said, the company’s detractors point to mix shift harming year-over-year revenues, and lower-margin cars taking over its sales volume. Maybe.

Today, however, the longs have it and shorts are eating their, well, pants.