This week, it was announced that Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) would join the S&P 500 Index on December 21st. The news shot the stock up nearly $100 in just two days, with most of the surge coming directly after the Tuesday announcement. While it is impressive enough that Tesla is finally being included in the S&P, some finer points aren’t being discussed, like Tesla’s young age compared to other companies in the index and its massive size going into the inclusion date.
Tesla’s 2020 performance on Wall Street has been more than impressive, and it was only a matter of time before larger, more prestigious investment indexes would look to acquire the electric car company. After soaring from $86 to over $500 throughout the year, Tesla broke yet another record this week after beating its all-time high price per share on Thursday.
Tesla could be the 6th most valuable company in the Index
With the surge in stock price comes an extreme growth in terms of company market cap, and the substantial increase in price per share has contributed significantly to Tesla’s valuation. If Tesla were to be added to the S&P today, it would be the sixth-largest company in the Index, in front of Berkshire Hathaway and behind Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company.
The only companies that would be considered more valuable than Tesla would be Alphabet Inc. Class A Shares, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple, all of which are the leaders in their respective industries. Although Apple and Microsoft could be considered a 1-2 punch in the tech world, the other companies are all surely at the head of the pack in their respective sectors.
Tesla will be one of the youngest companies in the Index
With Tesla being founded in 2003, it will be 17 years old when it joins the S&P 500 Index in December. That makes the company’s addition even more significant because its impact in such a short span of time is evident. While many of us recognize Tesla as the EV tech leader, the company could be considered the leader in the automotive sector altogether. This is simply incredible when you consider that Tesla has only had cars on the road since 2008 and has only been a mass-market carmaker since 2017 when the Model 3 was introduced.
However, Tesla has a tremendous influence on other car companies. Legacy automakers are fighting to stay relevant and admitting that they must make a transition to electrification. With Tesla leading that charge, new tricks are being taught to old dogs. It is just a matter of whether the old dogs choose to continue learning “new tricks.” If they don’t, they will slowly fade away as EVs become more popular on the road.
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Tesla is one of the only car companies in the Index
Tesla will join GM and Ford, two of the biggest names in the automotive sector, in the Index. The S&P 500 inclusion requirements are lofty, like an $8.2B market cap, have at least 10% of its shares outstanding, have its most recent quarter be profitable, and have a consecutive string of at least four profitable quarters.
2020 has not been the most forgiving year for many companies, and automotive manufacturers are no exception. Demand for new vehicles has effectively fallen off the table because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it has caused many once-successful car companies to taste the losses of momentum. Companies that make affordable, petrol-powered sedans also are experiencing dropoffs in demand because people cannot afford new vehicles.
Because of this, large car companies that are publicly listed on NASDAQ are missing out on their opportunities to string together consecutive quarters and provide profitable margins to their investors. But Tesla isn’t having this issue because their cars are more than just vehicles. They are software devices. They are new ways to get from Point A to Point B. And, with many people worried about climate issues, electric cars are the only acceptable way to travel.
Tesla is joining the S&P during a year where growth was virtually impossible
To grow on the past points made, this year was supposed to be dramatically difficult for almost every company on the planet that wouldn’t increase work efficiency in a pandemic. Early winners were companies like Zoom, who created communication possibilities while not being near other people. Nobody would have thought that a company selling $35,000+ cars would see this much growth, but it has.
Tesla’s company mission attacks more than one issue in today’s world. Many investors and firms alike forget this fact: Tesla isn’t just a car company. They’re making solar panels, big batteries, and cars. Not to mention, their energy products are suitable for both commercial and residential use, making them desirable for a large market.
If we all could go back to the beginning of the pandemic, we would bet that car companies wouldn’t do well this year. They didn’t. But Tesla did, and it is because their identity as a true tech company has helped surge them past the label of “automaker” or “sustainable energy company.” Tesla is bigger than that, and when investors realize it, their portfolios will benefit.
Update: Revisions made to third subsection at 9:45 EST.