Tesla Inc’s biggest weekly gain since 2013 gave investors a glimmer of hope that after a disastrous 2022, the worst may finally be over for Elon Musk’s electric carmaker.
The stock surged 33% this week, its biggest gain since a 41% surge in May 2013. The stock closed up 11% at $177.88 on Friday, its highest level since December 9, and was up 65% from its January 3 closing low of $108.10.
It’s not easy coming back here. Better-than-expected quarterly results, assurances from Musk, and a $5 billion credit commitment helped shake off last year’s gloom.
A big hurdle for the stock comes next week when the Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates and give information on the path of future hikes. A harsh tone could derail Tesla’s strong start to the year.
Derivatives traders don’t seem worried. Relative to a bet that shares will fall 10% next month, options cost the least since August, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Wednesday’s quarterly results and Musk’s conference call gave investors much-needed clarity about the company’s strategy. Tesla’s leaders brushed off customer concerns about the appetite for the company’s vehicles, saying orders have nearly doubled the pace of production since the electric carmaker cut prices two weeks ago.
Still, the outlook is far from clear, especially given the growing number of competitors.
While Tesla’s valuation multiples are lower than they have been in the past few years, they are rising again and are higher than the average for the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 index. The comparison to traditional car companies like General Motors and Ford is even starker.
As the past year has shown, Tesla’s erratic leadership has been both a blessing and a curse for the company. That has even made some long-term bulls wary of bottoming out.