A Look Back at the Most Exciting Stock of the Year: Tesla

Jacob Harper  |

It’s been a momentous year for electric car maker Tesla Motors (TSLA) , to say the least. The company has advanced an astronomical 369.83 percent on the year, making them far and away the biggest large cap stock on the year. Yet despite its success, the company is certainly not universally lauded, and has had its share of doubters and bears.

This discrepancy between outstanding stock performance and cynics has made for an interesting news year for Tesla.  Here’s a look back at the year’s major developments for one of the most divisive stock on the entire market:

February 18. 2013

Tesla vs. The New York Times

The NYT writes a highly unflattering profile of Tesla’ Model S sedan, saying the car significantly missed its reported “200 miles between battery charges” claim, and seriously underperformed in cold weather. Tesla CEO Elon Musk shoots back, saying the article was a gross misrepresentation of facts.

April 2, 2013

Tesla Revs Up On Musk’s Twitter Announcement

Musk sets his stock on fire when he hints via Twitter that Tesla was gearing up for big things. While Musk remains vague, the stock still jumps 20 percent on the day.

May 8, 2013

Tesla Posts First Profitable Quarter Ever

Tesla smashes earnings expectations in Q1 2013, selling 400 more cars than expected in the quarter. At around $70,000 apiece for the cars, the sales beat translated into an extra $2.8 million in revenue.

May 28, 2013

Tesla Tops the $100 Mark

The company paid off its $465 million loan from the Department of Energy nine years ahead of schedule, and reported impressive quarterly sales in Q2, which sends the stock north of $100 for the first time in its existence. The company also expands their solar-powered battery changing stations operations significantly.

June 21, 2013

Quick Swap Battery Stations Eases Major Inconvenience for Tesla Owners

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 Musk unveiled a new quick swap-battery station for Tesla vehicles that would only take about 90 seconds. Previously swapping out batteries would take 30-40 minutes, and proved to be a major inconvenience for car owners. In ideal conditions, swapping out an electric battery would supposedly be quicker than filling up a gasoline-powered fuel tank.

June 27, 2013

Tesla Petitions White House for Direct Sales

Tesla is well-known for selling its cars via its websites and not through dealerships, which has been challenged by several states’ regulatory boards. Tesla goes over state’s heads and asks the White House directly to make an exception for the electric car company.

July 9, 2013

Tesla Announced to Replace Oracle on NASDAQ 100

In a major blow to Oracle Corporation (ORCL) and a big win for Tesla, NASDAQ announced that the car company would replace the beleaguered software company on the NASDAQ 100. The move is symbolic of a sea change in technology, as Oracle was quickly losing out in tech’s move towards cloud computing, and Tesla was gaining on the car industry’s move towards sophisticated electric cars.

July 16, 2013

Tesla Plunges on Downgrade

In one of the only interruptions in its meteoric rise on the year, Tesla drops precipitously after Patrick Archambault of Goldman Sachs Group (GS) downgraded the stock to neutral. Tesla drops 15 percent in its largest single session drop since Jan. 2012.

August 7, 2013

Tesla Issues Earnings Report That Destroys Expectations

The car company skyrockets on the heels of its Q2 2013 earnings report, which shows the company beat earnings expectations by a whopping 39 cents a share. Tesla advances 15 percent on the news.

August 8, 2013

As Tesla Establishes Itself as a Major Player, Analysts Remain Divided

Following the massive Q2 earnings beat, Tesla becomes the hot topic for financial analysts. Some think the sky’s the limit for the automaker, while other like Archambault and Barclays Capital analyst Brian Johnson remain highly skeptical, citing (respectively) the company’s 900 P/E ratio and their incredibly aggressive expansion.


(image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

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