Tesla Inc Stock Hit An All-time High, Closing In On Ford’s Market Cap

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Tesla shares surged 4% after Elon Musk announced online ordering for the Model S and Model X vehicles in Dubai. Shares broke above the previous all-time closing high in July 2015, closing at $280.60. The stock is up 31.5% year to date. However, CFRA’s Efrain Levy told Fortune that the recent spike can’t be attributed to any clear news.

Investors optimistic on Model 3 hitting production schedule

Tesla managed to hog the limelight before its earning calls on February 22; the company only recently announced plans to shutter the California plant to prepare for the mass-market Model 3. Investors are hopeful that Model 3 production is in line with announcements, even after critics suggested that the current level of funding is not enough to fulfill Tesla’s production goal.

However, Oppenheimer analyst Colin Rusch is more optimistic about Model 3 production, stating that he “would not be surprised to see Tesla opportunistically raise capital to support medium- and long-term growth.”

Tesla closing in on Ford

Tesla has seen its market cap reach about $45 billion, which is about 90% of Ford’s $49 billion. There could be only two reasons behind this, with either Wall Street growing far too bullish on the company or being pessimistic about Ford, says Yahoo.

There is a huge difference between the two automakers for now, as compared to Ford’s production number of 6.6 million vehicles, Tesla only produced 83,000 cars last year. Even if the EV firm reaches its goal of production, it will manufacture a little over 500,000 in two years.

Self-driving cars are the future

The Palo Alto-based company not only aims to bring electric cars to the mainstream but is also looking to tap the self-driving vehicle space, and Ford plans to do the same. Last year, Ford announced that it will invest $12 billion in Argo AI, a venture that already has Uber and Google in collaboration. Similarly, last year, Ford also stated plans to build autonomous cars for ride-sharing at significant production levels.

Ford could face two major problems. First, the electric car and self-driving car spaces have at least two dozen major start-ups and probably every large company in the world. Second, overhauling a company as big as Ford for the future may be nearly impossible, notes Yahoo.

Brad Cornell, a finance Professor at California Institute of Technology, and a ValueWalk contributor, notes:

Given its run-up in the last few weeks, Tesla’s market capitalization is within a hair’s breath of Ford.  (Note, however, that market capitalization is not enterprise value because it is based only on equity value.)  This run-up, once again, has occurred without there being any meaningful fundamental news.  What has soared, is what has soared in the past, belief that Mr. Musk is about to deliver something sensational.  This time, however, there may be finally be a resolution.  As the year, wears on Mr. Musk will either produce the Model 3 and sell it at a profit or he will not.  For the first time in its history, Tesla will begin to trade, at least in part, on the basis of its actual financial performance, not its future growth options.  When it does so, I still find it hard to believe it will command a market cap equal to that of Ford.  But we shall see.

On Monday, Tesla shares closed up 4.22% at $280.60. In the last month, shares are up more than 18%, while in the last year, they are up almost 86%. The stock has a 52-week high of $280.79 and a 52-week low of $143.70.

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