Tesla tops Toyota by one measure as its stock price soars

Though in terms of revenue and sales, it's comparatively small

Tesla on Wednesday became the highest-valued automaker as its stock shares surged to record highs and the electric carmaker's market capitalization overtook that of Toyota.

Tesla shares gained 5% in early morning trade to a record of $1,133, boosting the company's market cap briefly to $209.47 billion — roughly $6 billion more than Toyota is currently valued by investors. Tesla closed the trading day at $1,119.

On paper, Tesla is currently worth more than triple the combined value of U.S. automakers General Motors and Ford.

The shares' meteoric rise, up more than 163% since the start of 2020, highlight growing confidence among investors about the future of electric vehicles and Tesla's shift from a niche carmaker into a global leader in cleaner cars.

After several years of losses, Tesla has delivered three straight profitable quarters since the third quarter of 2019 and surprised investors with solid first-quarter deliveries despite the virus outbreak.

Toyota, one of the world's most profitable automakers, sold 10.46 million vehicles during its 2019 financial year, ending on March 31, 2020. It reported net revenues of roughly $281.20 billion.

Tesla, in comparison, ended 2019 with $24.6 billion in revenues, having delivered 367,200 vehicles last year. Chief Executive Elon Musk in the past said Tesla would deliver at least 500,000 vehicles in 2020, a forecast the company has not changed despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Tesla is expected to report second-quarter delivery numbers this week.


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