Tesla’s stock cracked the US$500 mark for the first time Monday as the electric vehicle maker continues a meteoric rise. The Palo Alto, California-based company’s shares closed up 9.8 per cent at US$524.86. The stock was trading below US$400 in December and below US$300 in October. Strong sales in the fourth quarter and the beginning of production at Tesla’s new China factory have given investors renewed confidence in the company’s prospects. The stock’s recent performance amounts to “an eye-popping rally,” as investors are betting that CEO Elon Musk has the company on track for massive growth, Wedbush Securities stock analyst Dan Ives wrote Friday in a note to investors. “The table has turned quickly for Musk as a few quarters ago the company was facing red ink, demand issues were lingering in the US, and the management turnover was seeing a major perceived talent drain,” Ives said. Ives said Tesla “has the most impressive product road map out of any technology/auto vendor around.” The Model 3 car has also become one of the bestselling passenger cars of any kind in America. While Tesla does not provide a breakdown of sales by country, the company sold nearly 159,000 in the US last year, according to estimates by InsideEVs, which tracks electric car sales. China’s EV stocks hitch a ride with Tesla into investors portfolios Despite the company’s recent success, some analysts remain sceptical. Barclays analyst Brian Johnson said last week that he believes the stock’s proper value is only US$200. Purchase the China AI Report 2020 brought to you by SCMP Research and enjoy a 20% discount (original price US$400). This 60-page all new intelligence report gives you first-hand insights and analysis into the latest industry developments and intelligence about China AI. Get exclusive access to our webinars for continuous learning, and interact with China AI executives in live Q&A. Offer valid until 31 March 2020.