Tesla Inc.'s record first-quarter sales report provided a boost to the stock in the first trading day since the robust volume was announced Friday.
Deliveries reached 184,800 cars worldwide in the first quarter of 2021, up from about 88,400 in the first three months of 2020. The figure topped the 169,850 average analyst estimate in a Bloomberg survey. The previous record was 180,570, achieved last quarter.
The results marked a strong start to a year in which CEO Elon Musk is counting on global operations to help scale up production and sales. Tesla shares rose 4.4 percent to close at $691.05 on Monday in New York.
“We are encouraged by the strong reception of the Model Y in China and are quickly progressing to full production capacity,” the company said Friday. The new Model S and Model X have also been “exceptionally well received,” it said, adding that it’s in the early stages of ramping up production.
Tesla currently makes the Model S and X only at its factory in Fremont, Calif., and the smaller Model 3 and Y both there and at its plant in Shanghai. The company doesn’t break out sales by geography, but the U.S. and China are its largest markets and the bulk of sales were of the Model 3 and Y.
The Palo Alto, Calif., company recently refreshed the Model S sedan and the X crossover. CFO Zachary Kirkhorn warned in January that production would be low due to the transition to the revamped products. The global semiconductor shortage and delays at ports also weighed on the quarter.
Tesla said its delivery count should be viewed as slightly conservative and final numbers could vary by as much as 0.5 percent or more.
The quarterly delivery figure is widely seen as a barometer of demand for both Tesla’s vehicles and consumer interest in electric vehicles worldwide as legacy automakers roll out electric cars of their own.
“These delivery numbers are a paradigm and sentiment shifter for the space going forward,” Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives wrote in a note, calling Tesla’s delivery numbers a “jaw dropper.” He also said the recent brutal sell-off in the space may now be in the rear-view mirror.
The global EV leader was already the most valuable auto company in the world by far, despite production that is a fraction of rivals such as Toyota Motor Corp., Volkswagen AG and General Motors. U.S. markets were closed Friday for the Good Friday holiday.
Bloomberg and Reuters contributed to this report.