If Tesla Inc. is looking to develop a corporate motto it might consider “let the good times roll,” as the California-based EV maker has enjoyed a wave of positive news and events, the latest being that it’s stock price rolled past the $900 mark.
The company’s jumped nearly 19% on Tuesday afternoon to more than $924 a share, surprising even some who have been watching Tesla stock rise like a rocket during the past four months, doubling the company’s market cap, making it worth more than General Motors and Ford combined.
Part of the reason for the stock price surge has been a steady stream of positive news related to the automaker, the most recent being Panasonic Corp. revealing that its EV battery joint venture with Tesla turned a profit for the first time.
Panasonic added it was expanding production in order to keep pace Tesla’s demands. Also on the positive battery news front, Tesla just formed partnerships with battery makers LG Chem and CATL to bolster its battery production capabilities.
The company also reported strong fourth-quarter and full-year results, including setting a new vehicle delivery record in 2019. The company also reported revenue of $24.6 billion last year, reporting profits in last three quarters of the year.
During a call to investors, analysts and media, CEO Elon Musk predicted the company would deliver more than 500,000 vehicles in 2020. He also revealed that it would begin delivery of the Model Y, the small SUV that is next in the company’s line-up, in late February or early March, which is at least six months earlier than predicted.
“Investors are now starting to believe that Tesla can make mass-volume electric vehicles, and automakers, battery makers and suppliers can make money from EVs,” Cho Hyun-ryul, analyst at Samsung Securities, told Reuters.
The company is getting additional support from investors. Billionaire investor Ron Baron, whose firm holds a nearly 1% stake in Tesla, says he will not be selling a single Tesla share, adding he believes the carmaker could hit $1 trillion in revenue in 10 years, according to Reuters.
There are plenty who believe the run won’t last and think it’s being buoyed by buyers who suffer FOMO — fear of missing out. However, it appears that those without faith in the company are paying the price.
The shorters, who Musk and pro-Tesla investors mock on a regular basis, are being squeezed right now. Tesla shares are more heavily shorted than average, according to Barron’s, meaning lots of bearish investors have borrowed stock and sold it, betting on price declines. If the price falls, they can buy shares back at a lower price, replace the borrowed stock, and pocket the price difference.
Tesla shorters have been getting crushed for some time now. Short interest data provider S3 Analytics notes bears have been covering short bets lately, but Tesla remains one of the most heavily shorted stocks in the market. The shorts lost more $2.5 billion on Monday alone. Year-to-date losses exceed $8 billion.