Tesla Tops Ford in Market Cap After Best-Ever Sales Quarter

By Auto FOXBusiness

A Tesla logo is seen at its planned store in Hanam, South Korea, December 22, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji (Copyright Reuters 2017)

Tesla (TSLA) shares revved to a new all-time high on Monday, driving the 14-year old automaker to surpass industry titan Ford (F) in market value.

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Tesla’s latest sales numbers helped boost its market value to around $47.79 billion, as of 1:40 p.m. ET, toppling Ford for the number two slot just under General Motors (GM), which holds a market capitalization of $50.9 billion. 

The electric car maker rallied to above $294 a share after the company on Sunday said it saw a 69% surge in sales in the first three months of the year – its best quarterly performance ever. 

On Monday, Ford said its March sales dropped 24% due in large part to comparable figures from 2016 that included large fleet sales. The automaker said SUV sales slipped 3%, while truck sales rose 2.5% during the month.

GM, meanwhile, reported a 2% rise in sales helped by a 21% jump in SUVs and a 0.5% increase in truck sales.

“We have been saying for some time that U.S. sales have plateaued at a high level and March seems to prove that out with sales coming in strong but likely softer than the 3% gain anticipated by Kelly Blue Book,” said Michelle Krebs, executive analyst for Autotrader. “The shift to sport utilities from cars marches on.”

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Over the weekend, Tesla said, according to preliminary data, it delivered just more than 25,000 vehicles during the first quarter, which broke down to about 13,450 Model S sedans, and 11,550 Model X SUVs. That compared to 14,820 vehicles during the year prior.

“This bodes well for the company and should add to recent positive sentiment for Tesla’s fundamental performance. Despite a track record of often missing performance target deadlines, this pace should put Tesla on schedule to meet its guidance of more than 47,000 vehicle deliveries for the 2017 first half,” said CFRA analyst Efraim Levy, though he reiterated his sell opinion on the company’s shares due to its “rich” valuation.

As shares of Tesla rallied more than 5% Monday, the Big Three automakers slipped with Ford declining roughly 2.4%, GM down 3.75% and Fiat Chrysler shedding 4.8%.   

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