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Tesla (TSLA) skyrockets to become most valuable US automaker in history

Tesla Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai (Source: Tesla)

Tesla stock (NASDAQ:TSLA) has been hitting record highs of late and on Tuesday it closed at $469.06, up by $17.52 or 3.88%. The recent gains pushed Elon Musk’s electric car brand to a market capitalization approaching $83 billion, making it the most valuable automotive company in America ever.

The current market cap of Tesla eclipses the record set by Ford in 1999 at $81 billion, and is now higher the combined value of General Motors ($52 billion) and Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles ($28 billion). While the current numbers are not adjusted for inflation and debt, the achievement by Tesla and Musk is undoubtedly impressive.

Tesla’s milestone comes amid news of its big push in China where it made its first public delivery of locally-made Model 3s, formally launched its Model Y program, and hinted at a promising future with plans to create an engineering and design center in the country. Likewise, it is making strides in Germany where it has started clearing the forest in Brandenburg to make way for the groundbreaking of Gigafactory 4.

Tesla’s Q4 2019 results also helped the company achieve its full-year guidance by delivering 105,000 units in the quarter and a total of 367,500 vehicles for the year. That’s about 50% more compared to its 2018 numbers, which were already record-setting when they were released.

Just as venture capitalist Paul Holland puts it, Elon Musk’s strategy in China is comparable to what Sun Tzu’s The Art Of War teaches.

Amidst these results, the Palo Alto, California-based EV manufacturer has earned the approval of a number of analysts. Wedbush Securities Managing Director Dan Ives recently said Tesla stock may hit $600. “While part of this recent rally has been a massive short covering, it has also been driven by underlying fundamental improvement as the company’s ability to impressively not just talk the talk but walk the walk has been noticed by the Street,” he noted.

On Tuesday, Bill Selesky of Argus Research raised the Tesla price target to $556 as well. “Despite recent production delays, parts shortages, labor cost overruns, and a host of other difficulties, we expect the company to improve performance over time,” Selesky said.

Indeed, Elon Musk’s epic dance during the Gigafactory 3 event in China is quite reassuring. A show of confidence that can be read as a watch-how-we-do-it warning to Tesla’s competitors.

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

Tesla (TSLA) skyrockets to become most valuable US automaker in history
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