Tesla Shares Power Higher As Q2 Delivery Figures Smash Forecasts

Tesla, which is now worth more than four times the combined value of Ford and GM, could be eligible for S&P 500 inclusion later this year.
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Tesla Inc.  (TSLA) - Get Report shares powered higher again Thursday, extending its lead as the world's most valuable carmaker,  after posting stronger-than-expected second-quarter delivery figures.

Tesla, which overtook Toyota Motor Co.  (TM) - Get Report as the world's most valuable carmaker by market value yesterday, delivered 90,650 units over the three months ending in June, well ahead of the Street consensus forecast of 72,000. Last year, the group shifted 95,200 million units over the second quarter.

Model 3 and Model Y deliveries hit 80,050, the company said, while Model S and Model X deliveries were pegged at 10,600. The company said earlier this year it would 'comfortably" deliver 500,000 vehicles by the end of 2020.

Better-than-expected China sales, however, could bump that figure higher in the months ahead, and emails from Musk himself suggest the data could provide yet another boost for the high-powered stock, which has gained more than 167.6% so far this year.

“Just amazing how well you executed, especially in such difficult times, I am so proud to work with you!,” Musk wrote in an email to employees Wednesday. The message followed another 'everyone' email from last week that suggested that "breaking even is looking super tight. ... Please go all out to ensure victory!"

Tesla shares were marked 8.7% higher in early trading Thursday to change hands at $1,216.00 each. That move would value the Palo Alto, California-based carmaker at more than $225 billion, well ahead of Toyota's $202 billion and nearly four times the combined market value of Ford Motor Co  (F) - Get Report and General Motors  (GM) - Get Report.

Should Tesla post a second-quarter profit, it will mark the third consecutive three-month period the carmaker has worked its way into the black, paving the way for it to be included in the S&P 500 benchmark, which requires four consecutive quarters of profitability for inclusion.

"A second-quarter profit is important, as doing so would make Tesla eligible for S&P inclusion … and would increase the probability of Elon Musk receiving the second tranche of his compensation award," said Credit Suisse analyst Dan Levy, who carries a $700 price target and a neutral rating on the stock. 

"With Tesla likely to significantly surpass our formal second-quarter delivery estimate, it sets the stage for a less difficult bar to clear to hit second-quarter profitability," he added.