After posting higher than expected first quarter profit, thanks to its Model S sedan, Tesla surged as much as 26%.
At 11:45 a.m. New York time Tesla surged 23% to $68.36, after it reached a record intraday price of $70.48. The company’s market capitalization hit $7.9 billion, more than Fiat which reached $7.8 billion. Net income during the first quarter totaled $11.2 million, from the 2012 loss of $89.9 million and the profit was 12 cents a share, compared with a loss of 76 cents last year and with the analysts’ estimates of 4 cents.
“It’s really hard to start up a company, particularly in the auto business, and be successful,” said Ford, great-grandson of company founder Henry Ford. “We’ve seen many who have not, and so the fact that they are off to a really good start and doing well, I think, is a real tribute to them.”
Tesla’s Model S also recently received a near-perfect score from Consumer Reports, 99 out of 100 points. During the first quarter Tesla sold 4,900 Model S vehicles, compared with the previous forecast of 4,500 units. The company expects full-year sales of the model to hit 21,000 units, up from the previous goal of 20,000 units. Tesla ended Q1 as the no.1 seller of rechargeable vehicles, its Model S outselling GM’s Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf.