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Tesla IPO: Tesla Stock Soars 40%

Tesla closes its first day of trading at $23.89, having gained 40.5% since its shares became active on the NASDAQ Tuesday morning.

(Tesla story updated with latest share price, number of shares changing hands and analyst commentary.)
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Tesla Motors (TSLA) - Get Report stock finished its first day of trading at $23.89, having gained 40.5% since its shares became active on the NASDAQ Tuesday morning.

The IPO debuted at 11:26 Tuesday morning on the NASDAQ, and within 40 minutes some 8.4 million shares of

Tesla stock

had changed hands. By the close of the market, the trading volume had topped more than 17 million shares.

Earlier in the day, the electric car company said it had priced its IPO of 13.3 million common shares at $17 a share, above the original offering price of $14 to $16 a share.

By Monday, the company had raised the number of shares for sale by roughly 20% from the previous offer of 11.1 million shares.

Some investors have been excited about the IPO, spurred in part by by optimism about its upcoming sleek and fuel efficient Model S vehicle. Others are worried about the company's ability to bring the car to market on time, while others are skeptical about the electric car market in general.

"All in all, Tesla, the maker of the only highway-ready completely electric vehicle, the Roadster, made out very well in the first IPO of a U.S. automaker since


(F) - Get Report

did it back in 1956," Wall Street Strategies analyst David Silver wrote in a note to investors. But "the Model S, a sedan, is in the development stage ... by the time it reaches the market, 2012, there will be other 100% electric vehicles," such as the

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Leaf and Chevy Volt. "So the first-to-market advantage is out the window."

So far, the unprofitable company has sold merely 1,000 vehicles.

The proceeds raised from the IPO will help fund the Model S vehicle, "but Tesla is still dependent on government aid to survive," Silver went on, in his report. "The IPO alludes to a new era in the auto industry, but for the time being, the investment doesn't hold the weight."

Nevertheless, earlier, NASDAQ corporate client vice president Bruce Aust stated that "

Tesla Motors

exemplifies the future breed of motor vehicles, coupling style and performance with clean-technology and innovative, forward-thinking manufacturing ... NASDAQ is proud to welcome another company with a reputation of innovation to our market and is delighted to be the premier choice among companies as the exchange of the future."

-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York

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