Shares of Tesla Inc. spiked higher into record territory Friday, after the electric vehicle maker reported deliveries that rose above Wall Street’s expectations.
The stock TSLA, +4.22% shot up as much as 5.5% to an intraday high of $454.00 before paring gains to be up 4.3% in midday trading.
Importantly, “despite significant skepticism,” Tesla’s 2019 deliveries exceeded the low end of guidance.
The stock was trading well above its Dec. 26 record close of $430.94 and its previous all-time intraday high of $435.31 reached on Dec. 27.
The company said it delivered 112,000 vehicles during the fourth quarter, above the FactSet consensus of 106,000 vehicles. The total includes 92,500 Model 3 vehicles and 19,450 Model S/X vehicles.
That pushed 2019 deliveries up to 367,500 vehicles, which was 50% above the 2018 total, in line with Tesla’s guidance range of 360,000 vehicles to 400,000 vehicles and above the FactSet consensus of 361,000 vehicles.
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Tesla said the delivery count should be considered “slightly conservative,” as vehicles are counted as delivered only after they are transferred to the customer and all paperwork is correct. The company said the final figure could vary by up to 0.5% or more.
“We continue to focus on expanding production in both the U.S. as well as our newly launched facility in Shanghai,” the company said in a statement. “Despite breaking ground at Gigafactory Shanghai less than 12 months ago, we have already produced just under 1,000 saleable cars and have begun deliveries.”
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“This was another major feather in the cap for Musk & Co. by handily beating the Street’s 106k unit bogey in the quarter and speaking to the momentum Tesla is seeing specifically in Europe,” Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives wrote in a note to clients, referring to Chief Executive Elon Musk.
“Looking ahead, a major part of the Tesla growth thesis is around China as the flagship Shanghai Giga 3 build out is ahead of schedule and remains the fuel in the engine for the overall China bull thesis, which combined with healthy underlying consumer demand in this key region should be a catalyst in FY20 and beyond,” Ives said.
Fourth-quarter production was 104,891 vehicles, including 86,958 Model 3s and 17,933 Model S/Xs.
“We have also demonstrated production run-rate capability of greater than 3,000 units per week, excluding local battery pack production which began in late December,” Tesla stated.
Baird analyst Ben Kallo said that “despite significant skepticism,” Tesla managed to exceed expectations as factory production appeared to be ramping faster than he expecting.
“The company has previously targeted [about 150,000] of Model 3 capacity at its Shanghai plant (though we think the company may be able to surpass this nameplate capacity) which should be a key driver of volume growth in 2020,” Kallo wrote in a research note. “Additionally, the company indicated it began local battery production in late-December, which was ahead of expectations.”
The stock has rocketed 92.6% over the past three months to lift Tesla’s market capitalization to $80.9 billion. In comparison, General Motors Co. shares GM, -2.49% have gained 4.2% the past three months and Ford Motor Co.’s stock F, -2.18% has advanced 5.8%, to bring the market cap for GM to $52.1 billion and for Ford to $36.5 billion.
The S&P 500 index SPX, -0.52% has rallied 11.3% over the past three months.
The company will announce earnings and cash flow results when it releases its fourth-quarter reported, which is expected on or about Feb. 18.