Tesla has emerged as America’s most valuable carmaker

Big money.
Big money.
Image: Reuters/Hannah McKay
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Tesla says it’s going to be profitable. It has said this before, of course, but this time investors really seem to believe it. A compelling second-quarter earnings call showed the company’s automobile revenue hit $3.4 billion, up almost 50% over the same period last year. Tesla now aims to make 7,000 cars per week. That will, theoretically, erase the $740 million in losses this past quarter (down almost 20% compared to previous ones) by September. Tesla CEO Elon Musk told investors on the Aug. 1 earnings call “we believe we can be sustainably profitable from Q3 onwards.”

That was enough to send Tesla’s stock soaring about 11% over the previous day, and sending its market cap to $56.1 billion on Aug. 2. That was enough to hurdle over America’s largest automaker General Motors, valued at $51.6 billion, according to investment research firm Sentieo.

Whether Tesla can keep that title is another story. Tesla has traded places with GM and Ford throughout this year, and its stock has nearly doubled since 2016 with massive swings along the way.

Before the Aug. 1 earnings call, analysts were nearly evenly split between buy, sell, and hold recommendations, and the divide in their forecasts for Tesla’s stock price is only growing.