Tesla Model S – Click above for high-res image gallery
The news has to come as a pleasant surprise for Elon Musk, the company's CEO and largest shareholder. Musk has reportedly spent $70 million of his own personal fortune propping up Tesla while the company's losses mounted. The successful IPO is even more surprising given the fact that the company has yet to turn a quarterly profit and lost a substantial $230.5 million since 2003. Even at the expected median price of $15 per share, Bloomberg data shows that Tesla was valued at 5.5 times its net tangible assets, which doesn't exactly sound terrific. Tesla's IPO was likely helped out by recent investments by Toyota and Daimler, giving the first U.S. automaker IPO in over 50 years some much-needed street cred. Interestingly, Tesla is the first U.S. automaker since the Ford Motor Company to throw its hat into the public stock ring, with the Blue Oval doing so way back in 1956.
Tesla's IPO was considered a bit of a crap shoot given the recent failures of other stock offerings coupled with the fact that the EV maker doesn't have a lot of product to make it an attractive buy. Tesla has managed to sell about 1,000 copies of its pricey roadster, but now that the First-on-the-Block crew has theirs, the battery-packed two-seater isn't exactly flying off the shelves. The Model S sedan, which will reportedly go 160 miles on a single charge, won't arrive until 2012 at the earliest.
*UPDATE: Shares are now trading some 40% higher than they initially traded at. Read the full story here.