Elon Musk perplexed over Tesla's sky-high stock

Tesla's market value reached $190B on Wednesday

Even Elon Musk is having trouble fathoming Tesla's valuation in the stock market .

The Tesla CEO appeared to express some disbelief over the surge in the Palo Alto, California-based electric-vehicle maker’s share price, which crossed $1,000 for the first time ever on Wednesday. It has climbed 145 percent this year, making it the top performer on the Nasdaq.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
TSLA TESLA, INC. 623.31 +6.71 +1.09%

“Lol,” Musk tweeted Thursday morning. A follower asked what he was referencing and he responded, “stonks.” The misspelled word is an internet meme used to describe the ridiculousness of the stock market.

A keen observer noted Musk's tweet followed one by Bloomberg Editor Joe Weisenthal, which showed Tesla's market value was nearing that of Toyota, the biggest automaker in the world.

Tesla had a market capitalization of $190 billion at the close of trading on Wednesday, making it the world’s second-largest automaker by value. The company sold nearly 368,000 vehicles globally in its most recent fiscal year and expects to sell more than 500,000 during the current year.

By comparison, Toyota Motor Corp., which finished Wednesday at a market value of $216 billion, sold 8.96 million vehicles globally in its fiscal year ended March 31.

This isn't the first time Musk has expressed some dismay over the lofty valuation assigned to Tesla shares.

“Tesla stock price is too high,” Musk tweeted on May 1, when the company was valued at $140 billion.

Tesla’s valuation isn’t the only one in the electric-vehicle space that has recently caused a stir among investors. Electric-truck maker Nikola Motor Co. debuted on the Nasdaq on June 3 at a valuation of about $12 billion.

The company, which has no revenue, had a market value of more than $23 billion on Wednesday, FactSet data showed. Meanwhile, Ford Motor Co. had a market cap of $27 billion.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
F FORD MOTOR CO. 14.52 -0.25 -1.69%
TM TOYOTA MOTOR CORP. 177.03 -8.17 -4.41%
NKLA NIKOLA CORP. 16.51 -0.50 -2.94%

The momentum had caused short interest, a measure of the amount of stock held by traders betting the price would fall, to drop to 16.1 million shares, or 10.93 percent of shares available for trading, at the end of May, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

That was the lowest level since July 2010, the month after the shares made their Nasdaq debut. By comparison, short interest hit a high of 43.6 million in May 2019, the data showed.