Ninad Huilgol plugs his Model S into one of Tesla Motors' new "Supercharger" stations at their factory in Fremont, Calif.
(Photo: Anda Chu AP)
(USATODAY.com) - Tesla Motors, which has seen its shares soar 619% in a year, has become the fastest growing automotive stock in at least two decades, a new analysis says.
As if that isn't impressive enough, the analysis by Bloomberg News also finds that the electric car maker's 15-fold increase in the value of its stock since its June, 2010, initial public offering is the biggest of any U.S. stock since 2006.
Tesla shares stayed mostly flat in the first couple of years after its IPO, bouncing along below $35 a share. Then, they took off. Shares rocketed to $265 a share last month as the company predicted strong sales overseas and that it would sell 35,000 of its Model S electric cars this year, up 55% from 2013.
The stock opens Monday at $244.81 a share, down 3.1% on Friday. The stock trades at 154 times estimated earnings and market capitalization has hit $31 billion, half the level of Ford or General Motors, writes Bloomberg's Alan Ohnsman.
Sean McAlinden, chief economist for the Center for Automotive Research, says there hasn't been a successful automaking startup in 60 years.
Much of the confidence in the stock surrounds CEO Elon Musk, the PayPal billionaire who also has made a success of the other company he runs, rocket firm SpaceX. Musk hopes he can beat the odds when it comes to automotive startups. Before him, John DeLorean, Preston Tucker and Henrik Fisker all tried and failed with automotive startups that carried their own names.
Analysts, for the moment, are making more positive comparisons.
Brian Johnson of Barclays compared Musk to Henry Ford in a research note last week. Tesla's plans to build a giant battery plant, dubbed a "Gigafactory," is "reminiscent of Henry Ford's push for vertical integration in the 1920s," he wrote.
That's one comparison that Musk surely like to hear.