Tesla Motors shares hit a record high Tuesday morning, reaching almost $53 a share in NASDAQ trading before leveling off slightly to about $51 as of late this afternoon Eastern time. Tesla touched $52.92 shortly after the markets opened on Tuesday. Shares for the company, which went public at $17 a share in June 2010, have jumped more than 50 percent during the past year.
The California-based maker of the all-electric Model S said earlier this month that Q1 was its first ever quarter in the black, noting that it beat sales targets. That news followed up Tesla chief Elon Musk's proclamation that it would pay back its US Department Energy loan in roughly half of the ten-year timeframe previously set. Musk has been vocal and optimistic about his company's future, which lead to an excited Tweet about an upcoming announcement, a Tweet that might get him in trouble with the SEC.
Musk isn't the only one who sees good things in Tesla's future. Last week, Time Magazine named Musk one of the 100 most influential people in the world. On Monday, Seeking Alpha went as far as to say Tesla shares could hit $144 in the "near mid term," especially as short sellers who expected the stock to fall are forced to cover their losses. Motley Fool took a more measured approach, saying that factors such as Tesla's cash position, its ability to sell cars to those other than early adopters and the prospect of increased EV competition from larger automakers will determine whether the stock surge is justified.