If you ask anyone in the past two years who has invested money into the stock market, it is likely that the word “Tesla” will come up at one point or another. During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, which derailed American manufacturing, especially at automotive plants through the United States. Despite a derail in production at Tesla’s Fremont Factory in 2020, the automaker was able to stay relatively stable through a year filled with uncertainty. It ultimately led to a 700% increase in the stock price, along with an infamous Tweet sent by Tesla’s CEO on May 1st: “Tesla stock price is too high imo.”
On the day of Musk’s Tweet, Tesla shares (NASDAQ: TSLA) closed at a pre-split price of $701.30, or $140.26 on adjusted terms. Since then, Tesla stock has multiplied in value by nearly 6.5x, trading at $900.52, down nearly 27% from its 52-week high of $1,243.49, which was recorded in early November.
However, since Musk’s May 1, 2020 Tweet, a lot has changed. Tesla has two new production facilities that are nearly ready for production, it has detailed the public on a revolutionary new battery cell, and it has increased yearly production rates by expanding manufacturing footprints at its two currently-operational plants. While the stock is levels higher than what it was when Musk said the stock was too high, the CEO may have come to terms with why Tesla shares trade at extensively high prices: trust.
“I’ve tried to just tamp down expectations, saying I think the stock’s maybe too high,” Musk said in an interview with TIME, who recently named him Person of the Year for 2021. “Current valuation is pretty high,” Musk continued, “which suggests that the market has faith in future execution of the company because it’s certainly not based on historical profitability, that’s for sure.”
While Tesla is a company that has revolutionized the automotive market on a global scale, Musk has definitely come to terms with the fact that the company’s valuation is not necessarily based on presently-available information. However, innovation is something that the company has basically guaranteed through its products. If not for Tesla, it is likely that the companies like Ford, GM, and Volkswagen would probably not have such a tremendous focus on EVs currently. In fact, many of these automakers would probably be pumping out more ICE vehicles than ever. But Tesla’s market influence through flashy, fast, and futuristic electric cars has forced the long-standing dominators of the global car market to reconsider their strategies.
Tesla’s current valuation is no longer $1 trillion. It currently sits at just over $905 billion, according to CompaniesMarketCap.com, which tracks the valuations of companies in various sectors. However, Tesla is well over three times as valuable as second-place Toyota, which delivered 9,528,438 vehicles last year. Tesla delivered 499,550. Tesla also has an energy business, which oftentimes goes unnoticed and unaccounted for by analysts. Even still, is this enough to justify the company’s astronomical stock price?
Musk believes the faith from investors must be the reason, and who can blame them. Tesla has not been on time to some of its deadlines, but in a world of uncertainty, many companies have not performed well since the pandemic began. Take previously mentioned Toyota, for example. Despite selling over 9.5 million cars last year, it was an over 11% decrease from 2019. Tesla is continuing to build upon an already solid foundation for its cars and its company, and investor faith, which is evident if you know any Tesla stockholder, is at an all-time high.
Disclosure: Joey Klender is a TSLA Shareholder.
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