Tesla nears $100 billion market cap, closes in on Volkswagen as 2nd most valuable automaker in world

(Credit: Tesla China/Twitter)

Tesla quietly crept up the $100 billion market capitalization mark in extended trading hours on Tuesday. Tesla stock was pegged at $547.20 at the end of the trading day but saw an increase to $555 in after-hours trading, pushing the all-electric carmaker’s valuation to $100 billion.

This further widens Tesla’s lead as the most valuable automaker in the US. It also puts the Elon Musk-led electric car company close to dethroning Volkswagen ($100.59 billion) as the second most valuable car company in the world. Toyota currently holds the title as the world’s most valuable automaker at $232 billion.

The highly anticipated jump into the $100 billion threshold comes as Tesla shares soared more than 7 percent on Tuesday, following one analyst’s bullish predictions.

In a note to investors, New Street analyst Pierre Ferragu raised his 12-month price target to $800, up from an initial target of $530.

The analyst believes Tesla will be able to deliver 2 to 3 million cars annually by 2025 and anticipates “industry-leading margins” that will raise stock prices to $1,100 to $1,700 per share and propel Tesla’s market cap to $250 to $530 billion.

Most valuable automaker in the US

Tesla crossing the $100 billion barrier is the latest in a series of financial gains for the carmaker. It follows last week’s record-breaking achievement as Tesla surged past Ford’s record $81 billion valuation in 1999.

Although the numbers do not account for inflation and debt, this remains an impressive feat for Elon Musk, who led the company from its early days in 2003 to become the arguably most disruptive company in automotive history. Investors who have stayed with the carmaker since its initial public offering in 2010 have seen their investments increase by 1,100 percent.

Currently, Tesla’s valuation is near the value of the Big Three combined: Ford at $36.64 billion, General Motors at $49.99 billion, and Fiat-Chrysler at $21.38 billion.

Continued growth leading to gains

The most recent win comes hot on the heels of Tesla’s debut of the Made-in-China Model 3. Musk himself flew to Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai, China to personally deliver the first locally made Model 3 to the first Chinese customers. He also formally announced a Model Y program in the country.

Gigafactory 4 is also poised to rise in Brandenburg, Germany. Tesla recently announced its board of directors has approved the purchase contract for a 300-hectare property in Grunheide that will serve as the site for its fourth electric vehicle factory.

Tesla’s Q4 2019 report also spiked investor optimism as the company announced it has delivered 119,000 vehicles from October to December last year. This boosts Tesla’s annual deliveries to 367,500 vehicles in 2019, up by more than 50 percent from 2018.

Nicole Arce: I write about science and technology that changes the world.
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