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Tesla shares surge 12% on day of stock split

Ines Ferré
·Markets Reporter
·3 min read

Tesla (TSLA) shares closed 12% higher today on its first day of trading post its stock split. The stock closed at $498.32.

The 5-for-1 split — the first in the company’s history—was announced earlier in August when the share price was below $1,400. The stock has gone up since then, closing at $2,213.40 last Friday (that’s $442.68 on a split-adjusted basis).

Over the summer Tesla eclipsed Toyota (TM) to become the largest auto company in the world. Its market cap now sits at around $412 billion.

The stock has been on fire this year, up about 495% year-to-date, while the S&P 500 (^GSPC) and Nasdaq (^IXIC) have rallied 8.34% and 31.14% respectively.

Analysts have been racing to re-rate the stock, with one analyst calling Tesla’s valuation “mind-boggling”.

The stock’s price target was recently raised at Jeffries to a street high of $2,500, in part because of the company’s upcoming Battery Day on September 22. Wall Street and competitors will be watching to see if a million-mile battery is unveiled that day.

Wedbush’s Dan Ives recently laid out a bull case scenario of $3,500, though his current price target is $1,900. Adjusting for the stock split, Ives’ new price target is $380 with a bull case of $700. He has told Yahoo Finance Tesla “is a tech company, not an automobile company.”

Tesla’s latest 2nd quarter results announced in July beat expectations. The company posted a fourth consecutive quarter of GAAP profitability making the stock eligible to be considered for inclusion in to the S&P 500 (^GSPC).

Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk takes off his coat onstage during a delivery event for Tesla China-made Model 3 cars in Shanghai, China January 7, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song
Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk takes off his coat onstage during a delivery event for Tesla China-made Model 3 cars in Shanghai, China January 7, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song

The adjusted stock split occurred on the same day Apple (AAPL) also split its shares 4-to-1. The move increases the size of the float, but does not change the valuation of the company. More shares at a lower price is as a way to make them more accessible to individual investors.

In May, when the stock was around $780, Elon Musk tweeted “Tesla stock price is too high imo," sending shares tumbling 9%.

Investors have been pouring money into the expanding electric vehicles space. Tesla’s competitor NIO (NIO) has seen gains of about 380% year-to-date on the heels of deliveries which smashed expectations, and better than expected quarterly results.

XPeng (XPEV), another Chinese electric vehicle maker went public last week, raising $1.5 billion. The stock popped more than 40% on its first day of trading.

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Ines covers the U.S. stock market. Follow her on Twitter at @ines_ferre

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