Tesla shares jump 6% after first-quarter sales surge

Tesla shares jumped more than 6% at the opening bell on Monday, as investors cheered production and delivery figures that broadly beat expectations.

Tesla on Friday reported that it delivered 184,800 vehicles and produced 180,338 cars in the first quarter of 2021. Analysts were expecting the company to deliver around 168,000 vehicles during this period, according to estimates compiled by FactSet as of April 1.

It was a record-beating quarter, topping the 180,570 deliveries the company recorded in the fourth quarter of last year.

In a note on Sunday, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives upgraded Tesla shares to outperform and raised its 12-month target price for the company to $1,000 from $950.

“In our opinion, the 1Q delivery numbers released on Friday was a paradigm changer and shows that the pent-up demand globally for Tesla’s Model 3/Y is hitting its next stage of growth as part of a global green tidal wave underway,” Ives wrote. “We now believe Tesla could exceed 850k deliveries for the year with 900k a stretch goal, despite the chip shortage and various supply chain issues lingering across the auto sector.”

A filing in February showed that Tesla’s sales in China more than doubled last year amid the coronavirus pandemic. The electric car maker’s sales in China came in at $6.66 billion — around a fifth of the company’s $31.54 billion revenues.

Despite a bumper 2020, it’s been a tough year for Tesla stock, with shares down over 9% in 2021.

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