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Tesla raises $1 billion as stock climbs; predictions have it at $200 (or $37) *UPDATE

2012 Tesla Model S
2012 Tesla Model S
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Despite the company's recent string of successes, there's still a lot of skepticism about Tesla out there. Some of the negativity focuses on the lack of recharging infrastructure, some on the company's expensive cars and how it'll be difficult to make a mass-market car. And when it comes to the company's stock price – TSLA is currently at around $90 – the predictions are all over the map. Some say it's still worth shorting (that is, predicting it will drop). Some say it could reach $200 before too long; others warn it will fall to somewhere in the $20-$40 range.

"There is a fundamental view of a scenario where Tesla becomes the next GM or Ford."

Still, the big news – that is, something that's actually happened, not just bloviations about the future – is that Tesla raised more than a billion dollars in cash last week by increasing the amount of debt and equity it was offering. Instead of selling a total 2.7 million common shares, CEO Elon Musk put up 3.39 million, and bought $100 million himself. This showed confidence, which was admittedly already there, and Tesla raised far more than the $830 million originally expected. The money will be used, in part, to pay back the US government for the $465-million Department of Energy loan.

The good news prompted an unnamed banker to tell IFR what it looks like on the other side of the skepticism spectrum: "[CEO Elon] Musk has a vision of creating a $50 billion-plus company in five years," adding, "There is a fundamental view of a scenario where Tesla becomes the next GM or Ford."

*UPDATE: Musk just Tweeted that Tesla will likely pay back the DOE loan Wednesday.

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