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Tesla (TSLA) surpasses $300B market cap as shorts amass their biggest bet yet

Tesla Model 3 production line in Gigafactory 3, Shanghai, China. (Credit: Tesla)

The stage seems set for a clash between Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) bulls and bears, as the electric car maker showed signs that its momentum is in no way slowing down. With TSLA shares breaking $1,600 per share on Monday’s pre-market, Tesla’s market cap is poised to hit the $300 billion mark. At the same time, the recent surge in TSLA stock meant that short sellers have amassed almost $20 billion against the company. 

Tesla stock was up 6% on Monday’s pre market amidst recent announcements from Elon Musk regarding the Model Y crossover, which was recently given a price reduction. Together with this, Musk also announced that the vehicle’s 230 mile range variant, the Standard Range RWD, will no longer be made. Instead, the company will be focusing on ramping the Long Range RWD version, which will have a range that’s far above 300 miles per charge. 

Apart from this, sentiments are also quite positive surrounding the electric car maker, especially following the release of its better than expected second quarter vehicle delivery and production numbers. Tesla delivered over 90,000 vehicles in Q2, despite its main US plant being offline for nearly seven weeks due to the pandemic. The figures beat Wall Street’s expectations, which were hovering around 74,000 deliveries for the second quarter. Tesla’s results were particularly impressive considering that US auto sales saw an overall decline of about 34% during the quarter.

With such results, speculations are abounding that Tesla could very well qualify for the S&P 500, provided that it could post a profit later this month when it releases its Q2 2020 earnings report. The S&P 500 requires companies to post four profitable quarters in a row, and so far, Tesla has posted three. If Tesla could post a profit on its earnings call this July 22, the company could enter the S&P 500 as one of the index’s largest companies, just below Procter & Gamble and Mastercard. That would place Tesla quite close to the S&P 500’s top ten companies. 

With Tesla shares poised to continue their rise, TSLA shorts are also poised to place their largest bet to date against the electric car maker. According to data from financial analytics firm S3 Partners, short sellers have amassed a near $20 billion position against TSLA stock as of last week. And as stakes continue to climb, the potential for a short squeeze becomes even more notable. “The reason behind Tesla’s short squeeze is obvious and straight forward, large mark-to-market losses are forcing out some short sellers as they hit their loss limit thresholds,” S3 noted. 

Tesla is expected to release its Q2 earnings report and hold its second quarter earnings call on July 22 after markets close. Needless to say, the days leading up to this date will likely be very interesting. As of writing, Tesla stock is trading up 6.94% at $1,651.79 per share.

Disclosure: I have no ownership in shares of TSLA and have no plans to initiate any positions within 72 hours.

Tesla (TSLA) surpasses $300B market cap as shorts amass their biggest bet yet
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