Tesla shares surged almost 41 percent in first day of trading

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2010

In electric car company Tesla Motors Inc.'s first day of trading, its shares rose by up to 41% even as broader markets were falling. Tesla, which is the first US carmaker to launch a public stock offering in the last 54 years, saw its shares gaining $6.89 ($23.89 a share) as of 16:17 p.m. EDT, after reaching $19 earlier.

Last Monday, Tesla was able to raise $226 million selling shares above its forecast price range. Included in Tesla's shareholders are Daimler and Toyota.

Bloomberg data and a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission indicated that Tesla sold 13.3 million shares at $17 on Monday after offering them for $14 to $16. Tesla will be using the money raised to pay for factories and possible acquisition.

Tesla, which produced the $109,000 electric Roadster purchased by Brad Pitt and George Clooney, began trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the ticker TSLA.

Broader markets plunged with the Nasdaq down by 3.1% and the S&P 500 dropping 2.7% by early afternoon. In New York, Tesla founder Elon Musk was interviewed outside the Nasdaq building in Times Square.

He said that the company could make a profit if it continued to make expensive sports cars. However, it is missing out on achieving an income to produce a car intended for mass-market commuters.

He pointed out that many people were puzzled on why it was going public without profits. He said that the reason that Tesla is not profitable is because it is in the midst of expanding with the Model S.

Priced from $57,400, Model S is a luxury electric sedan that is slated to be launched in 2012. Ford Motor Co. was the last American car company that offered an IPO. The year was 1956.

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