Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) has dealt another painful blow to short-sellers on Wednesday, as the electric car maker hit a record market cap of $70 billion and shares hit new all-time-highs. TSLA has achieved these milestones as ardent bulls and even longtime bears from Wall Street begin acknowledging the company’s substantial lead in the electric vehicle space.
Tesla continued to show strength on Wednesday’s intraday, with the stock climbing over 2%. This ultimately pushed the electric car maker’s market cap to a record high of $70 billion, marking its place as the world’s 3rd-most valuable carmaker. TSLA shares also traded as high as $389.28, beating the company’s previous all-time high of $386.99, which was reached on June 19, 2017.
In a recent update, S3 Partners Managing Director of Predictive Analytics Ihor Dusaniwsky noted that there appears to be a squeeze going on today, though not at a scale that would qualify as Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s “short burn of the century.” “$TSLA shares shorted is -118k below 1/1/19 level – seems there has been a squeeze of 2019’s first half of the year short activity,” the S3 Partners Managing Director wrote.
While the stock’s current levels are likely not yet enough to trigger a full-on short squeeze, Dusaniwsky has previously stated that there would likely be a good amount of short covering in the $390 range since shorts would be down another -$1.5 billion in mark-to-market losses at those levels. With the ATH now breached and the stock seemingly on the verge of knocking on $390 per share, TSLA shares are now approaching the S3 Partners’ expected short squeeze range.
Tesla is enjoying some momentum as of late. In a recent appearance at CNBC‘s Squawk Box, TSLA bull Colin Rusch of Oppenheimer stated that the electric car maker has already made it through its most difficult days. When faced with the argument from Vanity Fair‘s Bethany McLean that Tesla’s futures may be in some way in danger due to Elon Musk’s capability to raise money and the company’s potential profitability issues, Rusch was quick to point out that such statements are no longer relevant to Tesla at this stage.
“I don’t think this is about Elon anymore. This is about what’s going on in the market with cars. Consumers are going towards premium and sustainable solutions. They’re willing to pay for that sustainability. They’ve got $5 billion of cash on the balance sheet, and they’re growing with a lot of operating leverage. I think your point was relevant a year and a half ago, maybe two years ago, and now it’s just not,” Rusch said.
Even when faced with the argument that more and more people were buying larger trucks and SUVs, Rusch was quick to correct the CNBC panel that such trends are true in the United States, but not necessarily the entire world. The analyst is correct on this point, as large vehicles that are extremely popular in the US such as the Ford F-150 are generally not preferred by consumers at all in large regions such as Europe. This is a reason why the Model 3, a sedan, continues to perform well on the market.
As of writing, Tesla stock is trading +2.67% at $389.11 per share.
Watch Colin Rusch’s of Oppenheimer engage CNBC‘s panel in the video below.