More On: tesla Tesla more than doubles Q1 sales, delivers 185,000 vehicles You can now pay your Visa bill with cryptocurrency Elon Musk posts tweet that Tesla could soon be bigger than Apple — then deletes it Labor officials order Elon Musk to delete anti-union tweet

Tesla’s stock price surged to its highest level in weeks early Monday as investors cheered the electric-car maker’s record quarterly sales.

Shares in the Elon Musk-led company bounced 7.2 percent to $709.75 in premarket trading as of 8:03 a.m. after it released expectation-beating first-quarter delivery numbers while the market was closed on Friday.

The Silicon Valley automaker said it delivered 184,800 cars from January through March — more than double the number from the same quarter last year and well ahead of Wall Street’s estimates for 168,000.

The strong figure helped put Tesla shares on pace to reach their highest level in roughly three weeks on Monday. The stock — whose value has surged more than sevenfold over the past year — last traded above $700 on March 17.

Monday’s movement is likely to boost the fortune of Musk, the Tesla “Technoking” who was worth $171 billion as of Sunday — making him the world’s second-richest person behind Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index.

The deliveries beat prompted at least three Wall Street brokerages to raise their price targets for Tesla shares — including Wedbush Securities, where bullish analyst Daniel Ives predicts the company will deliver more than 850,000 cars this year despite a global chip shortage that’s affected production across the auto industry.

“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 in a Sunday research note.

Ives was referring to Tesla’s Model 3 sedan and Model Y SUV, which accounted for nearly all of the company’s first-quarter deliveries. Tesla delivered just 2,020 of its expensive Model S and Model X vehicles, while production for those models dropped to zero as it ramped up manufacturing of the latest editions.

With Post wires

[Read More…]