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shares jumped Thursday after the electric-vehicle maker posted its highest quarterly profit to date.
The stock rose 11% when markets opened, trading at $1,085 a share.
Tesla late Wednesday reported a record profit of $3.3 billion for the first three months of the year and reported that vehicle production would keep growing despite shutdowns in China. Chief Executive Elon Musk said the company likely would produce more than 1.5 million vehicles in 2022, up 60% over last year.
The results pointed to progress in Tesla’s business, but also challenges posed by the stop-start emergence of the world economy from Covid-19 lockdowns and the supply-chain snarl-ups that have accompanied the unusual recovery.
Tesla delivered around 310,000 vehicles globally in the first quarter, up from 184,877 a year earlier. Mr. Musk said rising input costs were causing difficulties though, after a surge in prices for raw materials from lithium to nickel. “I think the official numbers actually understate the true magnitude of inflation,” he said.
Daniel Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, said that investors were relieved by Mr. Musk’s upbeat comments about production in Shanghai. Manufacturing in Tesla’s Shanghai factory was suspended in late March after the city imposed shutdowns to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Tesla shares have long been driven by a fervor for the company and its chief executive, who has garnered a loyal following on Twitter.
The stock charged higher when a collapse in interest rates pushed investors into more speculative corners of financial markets during the pandemic. The gains mystified some investors, who said they were unhinged from Tesla’s performance as a business, and made Mr. Musk by some measures the world’s richest man.
The stock got another boost when it joined the S&P 500 in December 2020, prompting money managers tracking the index to buy Tesla shares. Tesla hit its highest closing price of $1,229.91 in early November 2021. Shortly afterward, the shares dropped when Twitter users voted for Mr. Musk to sell part of his stake in the firm.
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Tesla has drifted lower since then, but held up better than many other stocks into which investors piled during Covid-19 shutdowns. The share price was down 7.5% this year through Wednesday’s close, compared with a 6.4% fall for the broader S&P 500, and was 31% higher than a year ago.
Mr. Musk has again used Twitter to unusual effect in recent days, sending cryptic tweets that hinted at the prospect of a tender offer to buy the social-media company. Twitter is expected to rebuff his existing $43 billion bid, which came after Mr. Musk built a big stake in the company and criticized its moderation policies.
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