Tesla Stock Surge Makes Elon Musk World’s Richest Person, Topping Jeff Bezos

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Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk became the world’s richest person Thursday as shares of the electric-car company continued their relentless run-up. Tesla stock rose as a one-time bear reversed.


Musk now has a net worth of $185 billion, up from $27 billion a year ago, as Tesla stock soared 743% in 2020 and is up another 14% so far in 2021.

That put him above Amazon (AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos, who has a net worth of about $184 billion.

Meanwhile, RBC Capital Markets analyst Joseph Spak admitted he had it all wrong on Tesla stock and upgraded it to sector perform on Thursday.

Spak held a sell-equivalent rating of underperform for Tesla since 2019. The stock has since soared nearly 1,200%. He says in a note to clients that his biggest mistake was underestimating “how TSLA can take advantage of its stock price to raise capital inexpensively and fund capacity outlays and growth.”

Tesla raised approximately $12 billion over three rounds of secondary stock offerings in 2020, with its cash balance likely close to $20 billion.

“This shows how easily TSLA can fund future growth or acquisitions whereas traditional OEMs need to generate significant cash from existing operations to fund their transition to electrification,” Spak said.

Spak also raised his price target on Tesla stock to 700 from 339 and lifted his estimates for 2025 deliveries to 1.7 million from 1.3 million.

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Tesla Stock

Shares gapped up 6.6% to 806.21 on the stock market today. The IBD Leaderboard stock is well extended past a 466 buy point, according to MarketSmith chart analysis. For those investors who got in around that point, profit-taking is certainly an option.

Earlier this week, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas also boosted his price outlook for Tesla stock to a Wall Street high of 810, after the company posted another delivery record in the fourth quarter.

Tesla delivered 189,750 vehicles, bringing the total for 2020 to 499,550, just shy of its stated goal of 500,000. Final numbers could vary by up to 0.5% or more by the time Tesla reports quarterly results later this month, the company said.

Joe Biden’s certification and Georgia’s election of two Democrats handing him a Senate majority lifted other EV makers. The industry sees this as a positive because a Biden administration and a Democrat-led Congress are more likely to advance green energy policies.

Nio (NIO) surged 6% Thursday, while Xpeng (XPEV) rose 5.4%, Li Auto (LI) jumped 7.6% and Warren Buffett-backed BYD Co. (BYDDF) was up 4.6%.

Follow Adelia Cellini Linecker on Twitter @IBD_Adelia.


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