Tesla shares set to start 2021 at record high

FILE PHOTO: The Tesla logo is seen on a car in Los Angeles, California, U.S., July 9, 2020. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

(Reuters) – Tesla Inc shares were set to open at a record high on Monday after the electric-car maker reported better-than-expected vehicle deliveries in 2020, extending a meteoric rally that has seen the stock surge more than 700%.

It delivered 499,550 vehicles last year, above Wall Street estimates of 481,261 vehicles, according to Refinitiv data, but 450 units short of Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk’s target.

“We are raising our forecasts to reflect higher 4Q deliveries and reports of strong demand for the Model Y in China, which is also suggestive of higher future deliveries,” J.P. Morgan analysts said in a client note.

Tesla has reported profit in five straight quarters, defying last year’s auto industry trends of slumping sales, quarterly losses and global supply chain disruptions.

Shares of the company, which joined the benchmark S&P 500 index in December, were up 3% in premarket trading.

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