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Published on August 29th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan

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Tesla Motors Worth $20 Billion (About 42% GM’s Worth), & The One Reason Why

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August 29th, 2013 by Zachary Shahan 

Everyone and their mother seems to be discussion Tesla and its tremendous stock surge right now. Here’s a quick summary of some astounding facts regarding Tesla Motors’ stock, as well as a short diatribe on the #1 reason why Tesla’s stock grew to such an astounding level so fast (via EV Obsession).

Tesla Now Worth $20 Billion, ~42% GM’s Value (+ The 1 Reason Tesla Stock Surged)

Tesla Motors this week hit an astounding value of $20 billion (billion with a bloody big B). Its shares are up just about 390% this year. As I write this, Tesla is valued at $20.2 billion, about 42% of GM’s $47.7 billion and about 31% of Ford’s $65 billion. There’s no way Tesla deserves this based on historical or current or even “coming soon” activity, as even Tesla CEO, founder, and Product Architect Elon Musk admits.

At the current stock price, Tesla is valued at about 260 times its projected 2013 earnings. That’s in stark contrast to GM (which sits at about 10 times its projected earnings) and Ford (which sits at about 11 times its projected earnings).

tesla stock price

Yet some stock experts are saying that now is not the time to sell, and that Tesla’s long-term projections and value seem worth keeping the stock. Elon would say that this point of view is “generous.”

“I mean the market’s being very generous, and they’re obviously giving us a lot of credit for future execution, so we’ll do our best to honor the faith the market has placed in us…. But I really feel like the valuation we’ve gotten, that we have right now, is more than, is more than we have any right to deserve, honestly,” Elon recently told CNBC.

“We need to make sure we really knock the ball out of the park in the coming years.”


Why Tesla Stock Surged

There are a lot of reasons that can be together attributed to Tesla’s rise in the eyes of stockholders, not the least of which (imho) was the way that Elon and team set up a long string of positive announcements earlier this year. That’s when the rise really started and eventually took off.

But there’s one single underlying reason why that happened and why Tesla got to the point where it could make all those announcements.

That reason is that the Tesla Model S is a f***ing awesome car.

Consumer Reports gave the Model S its best rating ever (99 out of 100) and would have given it a score of 100 if more charging stations were around (which there will be before long).

True gasmobile lovers at Motor Trend named the Model S 2013 Car of the Year. There have been debates amongst these car experts and many others about whether or not the Model S is truly the best car ever built for a notably sized market.

The car is awesome.

Of course, that is the bedrock for all the other reasons Tesla’s stock rose, some of which includes the following:

  • Model S manufacturing ramped up to satisfy the strong US demand for the car.
  • Tesla made its first quarterly profit… and its second.
  • Tesla paid back its US Department of Energy loan… 9 years early.
  • Elon Musk and team announced a huge expansion of the Tesla Supercharger network (surely not possible if sales weren’t so good… thanks to the car being so awesome).
  • Elon Musk has stated that Tesla will produce a much more affordable EV for the mass market by 2017 that will cost about half the price of the Model S. This would be Tesla’s big money-maker. (And people believe the target and believe the car will rock because of what Tesla has built to date and how well it has achieved its targets… despite so many strong critics.)

None of the above would have happened, been announced, or been in clear focus if the Model S wasn’t such an awesome car.

What does the future hold for Tesla and Tesla stock? It’s anyone’s guess on the latter, but on the former, I think you’d have to be something more than a pessimist to bet against the company.

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About the Author

spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as the director/chief editor. Otherwise, he's probably enthusiastically fulfilling his duties as the director/editor of Solar Love, EV Obsession, Planetsave, or Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and wind energy expert. If you would like him to speak at a related conference or event, connect with him via social media. You can connect with Zach on any popular social networking site you like. Links to all of his main social media profiles are on ZacharyShahan.com.



  • Alstonalston

    Adjusted earnings per share were expected to be $0.19 for fourth quarter fiscal year 2013, and $0.63 a share for the full fiscal year. And

  • Dave K.

    I have said it before and I will say it again, Elon Musk is a national treasure. Uncle Sam should just write him a blank check, he has never let us down! When they paid off their loans we should have torn up the check, Tesla will spend the money much more wisely than congress.

  • agelbert

    I think the valuation of Tesla is not just because of the car.

    Musk says he is going to do something and he really does it.

    In this world of so much CEO mendacity, a person that has integrity and feels a responsibility to tell the truth to his customers and the desire to admit he did something wrong or doesn’t deserve credit for this or that is a rarity. There is no bombast, arrogance or hubris coming from this fellow.

    He represents what the term “good will” as an accounting entry used to mean.

    It’s not about a cult of personality, either. People just want to deal with a straight shooter. He fits the bill. I hope corporate America (and the rest of the world corporations too) will begin to imitate him instead of being such slick, lying corporate clowns.

    We are tired of that. Musk is tapping into a giant need to have a trusted person in authority in this country. If he ever gets in politics, I will vote for him.

    If Toyota doesn’t get with the full EV program like Musk, their valuations will switch places in a decade.

  • Ivor O’Connor

    Excuse my ignorance about mechanical monstrosities but where does Chrysler fit in?

    It seems to me Tesla must take all this excess money and invest in itself even more. It’s a crazy ride bootstrapping himself in every direction. I’m sure he’ll continue to manage press releases optimally making the most of each new vertical and horizontal integration.

    • sean92

      Chrysler is part of General Motors.

      • jase

        Chrysler is owned by Fiat and currently generates most of Fiat’s profits right now. The Jeep Division and Dodge Trucks are particularly profitable. During the Auto bailouts the U.S. Government basically gave Chrysler to Fiat.

        • Ivor O’Connor

          So the big 3 auto makers are now down to 2?

          • Ivor O’Connor

            Looking into it a bit more I found this on wikipedia which appears wrong since it does not mention Tesla.

            “In April 2012, GM and Ford continued to lose market share as sales were down 8.2% and 5.3% year over year respectively.[30] There have been no independent car makers other than Ford, GM, and Chrysler since the last independent automaker, American Motors, was bought by Chrysler in 1987.”

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Three_(automobile_manufacturers)

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