Shares of Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA)
are in a buy zone, following a 13.53% gap higher on the first day of trading for the new year. Tesla closed Monday at $1199.78, up $143, in heavier-than-normal trading volume.
The stock got a boost after releasing unit sales data for the fourth quarter and the full year of 2021.
On Sunday, the company said it delivered 308,600 vehicles worldwide in the quarter, ahead of analyst expectations for 263,000 vehicles. For the full year, Tesla delivered 936,000 vehicles, up 87% over 2020.
In an interview with Yahoo Finance, Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives called the quarter a “jaw-dropper” and added that the company is set up for strong momentum for this year.
On December 19, Ives boosted his price target on Tesla to a range of $1,100 to $1,400, rating the stock “outperform,” according to MarketBeat analyst data.
One key advantage in a year when other automakers suffered through semiconductor shortages: Tesla was developing its own chips. In its second-quarter report earlier this year, the company said, “Our electrical and firmware engineering teams remain hard at work designing, developing and validating 19 new variants of controllers in response to ongoing semiconductor shortages.”
Tesla notched a return of 49.76% in 2021. Its market capitalization is now $1.2049 trillion, joining Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL) , and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) as the only U.S.-listed stocks whose value exceeds $1 trillion.
The stock etched a double-bottom base with a buy point above $1201.95. In Monday’s session, shares rallied as high as $1201.07. If you’re using a strict definition of passing a buy point, you can wait until shares cross the $1202 threshold, but given not only the powerful sales momentum but also investor sentiment, I consider Tesla buyable at this point. Even if it pulls back in the days ahead, the stock seems likely to rally in the coming months.
However, Tesla was not the biggest electric vehicle gainer in 2021, nor the biggest-gaining automaker.
Lucid Group (NASDAQ: LCID) officially went public in late July through a merger with SPAC Churchill Capital. When rumors about the merger emerged in mid-January, SPAC shares began taking off. In a case of “buy the rumor, sell the news,” shares sold off nearly 39% on February 23 when the deal was officially announced.
In the past three months, Lucid shares are up 66.31%. Since the IPO on July 26, the stock’s price is up 53%.
Lucid, too, has potential for investors, although it’s not in a buy zone now, as it’s been consolidating since late November. Its luxury vehicle, the Lucid Air, was named the 2022 MotorTrend car of the year. On Monday, On Jan. 3, Green Car Reports said the Air was its “Best Car To Buy 2022."
Lucid stock jumped 7.57% Monday, closing at $40.93 in light turnover.
The company has taken orders for more than 17,000 cars and expects to deliver around 20,000 cars this year, with production ramping up at the company’s Arizona manufacturing facility.
Negatives include a charging network that’s not as built-out as Tesla’s, which should come as a surprise to no one at this point.
When it comes to the best-performing big automaker stock in 2021, that honor goes to Ford Motor (NYSE: F), which returned 137.43% for the year.
Despite a pandemic-induced revenue decline, Ford is galloping ahead in the EV race, with its electric Ford Mustang. Forget the muscle cars of old; the electric Mustang is a crossover vehicle. Sales have been good so far, and Ford plans to roll out an electric version of its popular F-150 pickup truck this year.
Ford shares started 2022 gapping higher to a 4.81% gain, closing at $21.77. It’s trading at its best levels in more than 20 years. Ford is currently in a buy zone, having successfully tested its 50-day line in December.
Nonetheless, the momentum right now goes to Tesla. With its trading history and market capitalization, it’s less more of a proven entity than a smaller stock like Lucid. While Ford looks promising, Tesla’s vehicle delivery numbers make it a more compelling buy right now.
Tesla is a part of the Entrepreneur Index, which tracks some of the largest publicly traded companies founded and run by entrepreneurs.
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