Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA), the world’s best-performing automotive stock this year, rose to a record after Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. (NDAQ) said it’s elevating the company’s shares to its Nasdaq-100 Index to replace Oracle Corp. (ORCL)
The electric-car maker named for inventor Nikola Tesla climbed 1.5 percent to $123.45 in New York, the highest closing price since Tesla’s market debut three years ago.
Tesla will be added to the Nasdaq-100, which tracks the biggest companies on the Nasdaq, before the start of trading on July 15, Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. said in a statement yesterday. Oracle, which last month said it will join the New York Stock Exchange, is the biggest company to jump between the competing exchanges. Tesla is the only U.S.-based automaker on the Nasdaq.
Shares of Tesla, the carmaker headed by billionaire Elon Musk, have more than tripled this year as the popularity of its new Model S sedan helped the company turn its first quarterly profit. Gaining entry to benchmarks tracked by investors is attractive to public companies because it provides a guaranteed shareholder base.
“It’s a coming of age, recognition that a company has market cap and liquidity,” said Sandy Mehta, chief executive officer of Value Investment Principals Ltd. in Hong Kong. “Once the stock joins the index, you will have some buying.”
Tesla has surged 264 percent this year. The current leader in the Nasdaq-100 in 2013 is Netflix Inc. (NFLX), which has gained 166 percent.
Exchange-traded funds and other products linked to the Nasdaq-100 managed about $49.4 billion at the end of last year, according to data compiled by Nasdaq.
Tesla, based in Palo Alto, California, has forecast Model S sales will reach 21,000 units this year, with deliveries to Europe and Asia beginning in the second half. The Model S, which starts at $69,900 in the U.S., is Tesla’s second vehicle after the $109,000 Roadster.
Oracle’s defection means Nasdaq will lose its fourth-biggest U.S. company, which has been listed on the nation’s second-largest exchange since its 1986 initial public offering.
For Nasdaq, Oracle’s loss is a contrast to recent additions. Texas Instruments Inc. (TXN) joined from the NYSE in 2011. Last year, Facebook Inc. (FB) chose Nasdaq for its IPO and Kraft Foods Inc. defected from the NYSE.