Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA), the electric-car maker led by Elon Musk, rose past $100 a share for the first time as it prepares to announce an expansion of its charger network for its vehicles this week.
Tesla gained 14 percent to $110.33 at the close in New York. The shares have more tripled this year through today, compared with a 16 percent increase for the Russell 1000 Index.
Chief Executive Officer Musk said May 20 the announcement of the expansion of its so-called supercharger network was being pushed back to this week after the Palo Alto, California-based company repaid a U.S. loan. Tesla became the first recipient of a U.S. Energy Department loan to pay its debt.
Tesla last year began installing solar-powered supercharger stations on major U.S. highways to allow for rapid recharging and extended driving range for the battery-powered Model S. The luxury car, with a $69,900 base price, is rated by the U.S. as traveling as far as 265 miles (426 kilometers) per charge.
Musk has said the company will enlarge its network of nine chargers that allow a car to be repowered in about 30 minutes. Six of the stations are in California and three are in Connecticut and Delaware, according to Tesla’s website.
Currently, the charging devices can only be used with high-end versions of the Model S, which feature an 85-kilowatt-hour battery pack and are priced from $79,900. Owners repower their cars for free at the stations, using electricity produced by solar panels installed and maintained by SolarCity Corp. (SCTY), of which Musk is also the chairman and largest investor.
Separately, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said in a May 24 report that Tesla is “well positioned” to reach its 21,000 Model S production target this year.
“We were also encouraged by management commentary that points to improving U.S. demand trends for the Model S, as well as a significant growth opportunity in Europe and Asia,” Patrick Archambault, a New York-based analyst, wrote in the report.
Archambault rates the shares neutral and has a six-month price target of $61. The report followed a visit to Tesla’s manufacturing plant in Fremont, California.
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