Tesla (TSLA) surges for 2nd day as it approaches its S&P 500 debut

FILE PHOTO: The Tesla logo is seen on a car at Tesla's new showroom in Manhattan's Meatpacking District in New York City, U.S., Dec. 14, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

Tesla shares (NASDAQ:TSLA) neared record highs on Wednesday, surging 10% and extending a two-day rally following an announcement that the company will be joining the S&P 500 next month. Since the S&P Dow Jones Indices announced late Monday that Tesla is being added to Wall Street’s most-watched benchmark index, TSLA stock has jumped nearly 20%.

Tesla’s addition to the S&P 500 is poised to provide even more momentum to the company, particularly as index funds would likely end up purchasing about $50 billion worth of TSLA stock. Tesla’s size today, propelled by a 500% rise in 2020, makes it the most valuable carmaker in the world and one of the largest companies in the S&P 500. Other automakers that are part of the index, such as Toyota, Volkswagen, and GM, command just a fraction of Tesla’s market cap.

Tesla’s addition to the S&P 500 was a long time coming, with the company clearing a major hurdle back in July when it posted its fourth consecutive profitable quarter. Tesla bulls back then expected an announcement that TSLA will be added to the S&P 500. However, a September 8 announcement from the S&P revealed that the EV maker was left out of a list of companies that are being added to the index. TSLA stock promptly took a 21% dive.

Since then, Tesla has focused on simply executing on its 2020 goals, part of which involves delivering half a million cars this year. This target seemed almost insane this year considering the pandemic, but following a blockbuster third quarter that saw Tesla posting a fifth consecutive profitable quarter, it appears that the 500,000-vehicle delivery goal is feasible. Projects such as the construction of Gigafactory Berlin, Texas, and the upcoming Model Y production in Giga Shanghai helped build Tesla’s momentum further.

Tesla is currently worth about $461 billion in market cap, following Wednesday’s 10% jump.

Amidst its rise, Tesla critics have taken issue with the fact that the company’s revenues include the sale of regulatory credits. As noted by Tesla bull and New Street Research managing partner Pierre Ferragu, however, Tesla would be completely fine in the coming years. Ferragu noted that Tesla’s auto business would be able to stay profitable even without selling credits to other carmakers.

“What really matters today is to look at the gross margins of Tesla excluding the regulatory credits. And excluding credits, Tesla’s gross margins is about 20%, it’s a leading gross margin for a car manufacturer. And it continues to expand as the Model Y is a higher margin, the Model Y is included in the mix. That’s what really matters, and credits have nothing to blame there,” Ferragu said.

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