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Tesla hits $1 trillion: What to know as company becomes just fifth US company to reach milestone

·3 min read

Tesla, the world's most valuable automaker, just joined the trillionaire club.

With its stock price closing at an all-time high of $1,024.86 on Monday, the company's market value eclipsed $1 trillion. Following a record run, shares of the electric vehicle maker took a breather Tuesday, dipping 0.6% to snap four straight days of gains.

Tesla, led by billionaire Elon Musk, is the fifth U.S. company to hit the milestone, which includes Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Google parent Alphabet.

The latest rally came after rental car company Hertz, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection early in the COVID-19 pandemic, announced Monday that it plans to buy 100,000 cars from Tesla by the end of 2022 in a pivot toward electric vehicles. It’s among the largest electric vehicle orders ever placed.

Hertz to buy 100,000 Tesla cars: Rental car company pivots toward electric vehicles

What's next after Tesla deal?: Hertz will add Superchargers to some Valley locations

A recent streak of strong earnings and a bullish outlook from Wall Street analysts at Morgan Stanley have also added to optimism about Tesla’s stock.

Its market value stands greater than General Motors, Toyota, Ford, Volkswagen, BMW and several other auto giants combined. Tesla shares added roughly $100 billion in value in one day on Monday, which is nearly two times Ford’s market cap.

Here's a breakdown of what is fueling Tesla's eye-popping market cap:

Hertz Deal

Hertz’s move to buy 100,000 cars from Tesla by the end of 2022 is among the largest electric vehicle orders ever placed, matching the 100,000 electric vans that Amazon has ordered from startup Rivian. The deal is worth about $4.2 billion, estimated Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives.

Hertz also plans to install thousands of electric vehicle charging stations at its locations.

The move represents the largest investment by a rental car agency in technology widely considered the future of the automotive business but still viewed with caution by many Americans worried about running out of battery power while driving.

Strong earnings

Last week, Tesla posted a third straight record quarterly profit on the back of record deliveries.

Tesla hit a record number of vehicle deliveries in the third quarter. It delivered 241,300 of its electric vehicles globally between July and September, up 73% from last year.

Musk, the world’s wealthiest person, has benefitted as the company’s largest shareholder. His Tesla holdings, including vested and unvested options, were worth roughly $297 billion as of Monday, according to The Wall Street Journal, citing corporate governance data company Equilar.

To be sure, Tesla still faces challenges growing its earnings in the coming quarters due to supply chain disruptions.

“A variety of challenges, including semiconductor shortages, congestion at ports and rolling blackouts, have been impacting our ability to keep factories running at full speed,” the company told shareholders last week.

Bullish Wall Street outlook

On Sunday, Adam Jonas, analyst at Morgan Stanley, raised his price target on Tesla’s stock to $1,200 a share from $900, citing higher vehicle sales volumes in the coming years following the company's record third-quarter profits and deliveries.

Tesla’s third-quarter sales surged by about 70%, according to his calculations, even as global automobile production fell by about a fifth.

Jato Dynamics, a global supplier of automotive business intelligence, said Monday that Tesla’s Model 3 electric sedan became the first fully electric vehicle to top new car sales overall in Europe in September.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tesla stock soars after Hertz deal helps boost value to $1 trillion

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