Tesla's Stock Is Headed For Orbit With Record Close of $780

Its market cap is now more than GM, Ford, and FCA's combined.

via AP Images // Getty Images

Tesla closed at $780 per share on Monday, its highest peak for the day (or ever) during market-hours trading. This figure represents a 39.8 percent growth from this time last week and an even larger jump of 321 percent from 2019's low point of $185.16 per share. This number solidifies Tesla's position as the most valuable American automaker with a market cap of $140.6 billion; more than General Motors, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler combined.

To imagine that growth a little bit more – if you purchased $1,000 of TSLA stock at $19.20 when the company went public in June 2010 (about 52 shares), you'd be sitting on $40,560 today.

Tesla's stock has rallied over the past month, more than doubling the company's value in a very short period of time. Many market analysts have theorized on the reason for the stock's bullish trends and agree that it hasn't been just one single event that pressed the launch button.

In December, the automaker's newest China-based production facility, called Gigafactory Shanghai, producing made-in-China Tesla Model 3s, enabling one of the largest auto markets to have locally produced cars and slashing ownership costs.

Several weeks later, Tesla held its fourth-quarter earnings call where it announced a tidy profit of $105 million. Ultimately, the automaker still operated at a net loss of $862 million for the year, however, it still performed significantly better when compared with 2018, including a higher number of vehicle deliveries and even an announcement that its upcoming Model Y would be ready for production ahead of schedule.

CEO Elon Musk also noted during the earnings call that its semi-autonomous driving suite, coined Autopilot, would be "feature-complete in a few months."

"Feature complete just means it has some chance of going from your home to work, let's say, with no interventions." Clarified Musk, "It doesn't mean the features are working well."

Industry experts believe that it isn't just Tesla's ability to build desirable software that makes the company worth investing in. Reportedly, Tesla has also achieved leaps and bounds in capital efficiency, significantly reducing the overall cost to build cars versus traditional automakers. Analysts believe that Tesla's expenditures may be as low as $11,000 per unit volume of capacity as opposed to the industry average of $14,000 – that's around 21 percent less than other automakers.

But perhaps most important to Tesla's financial success is the way the automaker is viewed by investors. As the company rapidly matured in recent months, investment firms may have begun to view Tesla as less of a risk than previously thought.

Some firms, such as ARK Invest, believe that Tesla is still undervalued, reportedly targeting the automaker's true pricing at $7,000 by 2024.

Gene Munster, managing partner at Loup Ventures, believes that Tesla is nearly a decade ahead of even its closest competition.

"Other automakers have under-invested in the space, giving the company deeper knowledge related to battery design, a charging network with greater coverage, a better user experience, and more advanced self-driving capabilities," said Munster.

Taking flight alongside Tesla on Monday is the automaker's long-time battery partner, Panasonic. The battery maker, which staked a $4.5 billion investment at Tesla's Nevada production facility, broke its streak of production difficulties and financial worry by posting its first-ever quarterly profit, citing higher production volume as its bread and butter to moneymaking. Interestingly, Panasonic chose to abstain from partnering with Tesla for Gigafactory China, instead leaving the automaker to partner with South Korea's LG Chem and China's CATL for its overseas supply.

Meanwhile, Musk has been taking the opportunity to enjoy himself on Twitter, even staying out of trouble with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The CEO has had time to release a new song and even invited groups of hackers to his home for an upcoming "super fun AI party."

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