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Tesla's market cap is now bigger than Ford's was at its peak

MarketWatch logo MarketWatch 1/7/2020 Claudia Assis
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Tesla Inc. is as big as peak Ford Motor Co., with the Silicon Valley electric-car maker stock hitting another record on Tuesday.

Tesla (TSLA) shares rose 3.9% to end at a record $469.06 on Tuesday, the latest in a series of ever-climbing notches that stretch back to mid-December.

Tesla’s market capitalization has zoomed above $82 billion, beating Ford’s at its valuation peak — a market cap of $80.8 billion in 1999, the same year Tesla’s Chief Executive Elon Musk founded a couple of tech companies, including the one that would later become PayPal Holdings. 

Tesla has been the No. 1 U.S. auto maker in terms of market value off and on in the recent past, but it is the first time its market cap has topped Ford’s (F) at its highest valuation. Ford is currently valued at more than $36 billion, and General Motors (GM) is valued at $50 billion.

Tesla’s stock rally got a boost last week when the company reported above-expectations fourth-quarter deliveries, its proxy for sales.

Related video: Elon Musk delivers China-made Teslas to local drivers (provided by The Wall Street Journal)

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By Tuesday morning, Musk made meme-ready waves by pulling some dance moves while heralding a “very exciting future” for Tesla in China to the tune of “More Than You Know” by Axwell Ingrosso.

Tesla was showcasing the delivery of the first Model 3 sedans made at the company’s plant in the Shanghai area.

Investors do not yet know the date of Tesla’s reporting fourth-quarter results, expected for late January or early February.

Analysts polled by FactSet expect the car maker to report an adjusted profit of $1.53 a share on sales of $6.9 billion. That would compare with fourth-quarter 2018 profit of $1.93 a share on sales of $7.2 billion.

Later Tuesday, analyst Bill Selesky of Argus Research raised his price target on Tesla shares to $556, among the highest on Wall Street.

Tesla shares have gained 40% in the past 12 months, compared with advances of 27% and 22% for the S&P 500 index (SPX) and the Dow Jones Industrial Average. (DJIA) 

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