Tesla Inc. stock extended its rally on Friday, pushing weekly gains to nearly 35%, as investors cheered the EV maker’s earnings and top executive Elon Musk’s assurances that demand is not a problem at Tesla.
Tesla shares ended at their highest since Dec. 9, when they closed at $179.05. The stock also extended its winning streak to a sixth day, up 41% in that span.
Weekly gains of 33% were the best since the week ended May 10, 2013 when the stock rose 40.7%.
Tesla on Wednesday reported mixed quarterly results, with revenue slightly below Wall Street expectations, but Wall Street has focused on the optimism in Tesla’s production outlook for 2023.
Chief Executive Elon Musk also said he wanted to put the “concern to rest” that Tesla is going through demand problems. January orders are stronger than ever, and demand far outstrips Tesla’s rate of production.
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Tesla earlier this month cut prices for its EVs in the U.S. and Europe by as much as 20% depending on region and model, but Musk said that the price cuts would broaden Tesla vehicles’ appeal to buyers.
Other well-received news on Wednesday included the announcement that a “next generation” vehicle platform is in the wings, with details at the Tesla investor day on March 1, and that production of the Cybertruck, Tesla’s electric pickup, is on track for later this year and for volume production in 2024.
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On Friday, Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas added his voice to those thinking the price cuts, far from being a sign of trouble for the EV maker, may have ushered a new era in EVs and a “great deflation.”
“While it’s still early days following the Tesla price cuts, we believe history will reflect upon this time as the moment when changes in design, manufacturing technology, and scale enabled profound deflation in the price of EVs,” Jonas said.
Changes in industry composition and market share may take years to play out, “but we believe the EV forecasts and manufacturing plans of competing EV players (startup and legacy) may potentially need to be fundamentally reconceived,” he said.
Deflation “transformed the automotive competitive landscape,” and prices fell even more sharply after Ford Motor Co. introduced its Model T and revamped its assembly line, Jonas said.
Tesla shares still have to catch up to the broader market, however. The shares are down about 35% in the last 12 months, compared with losses of around 5% for the S&P 500 index.