Tesla reports record deliveries of vehicles in 1st quarter

People visit a Tesla Model S car during the Auto China 2016 in Beijing China

People visit a Tesla Model S car during the Auto China 2016 in Beijing China

Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) stock looks set to head higher today, backed by record deliveries and bullish technical triggers. As expected, the Model S outdelivered the Model X, but only by a small margin: 13,450 vs. 11,550 vehicles. What's more, Tesla's Q1 delivery numbers don't include approximately 4,650 vehicles which were in transit.

Tesla is fast becoming the main challenger to General Motors in the American auto market, with impressive sales figures released on Sunday spurring a surge of investor excitement in the company on Monday's stock market. Investors now apparently are banking on Tesla CEO Elon Musk making good on his promise to produce the Model 3 at high volumes, something Tesla hasn't done with its previous models.

Tesla's rise may have been helped by the sluggish performance of incumbent automakers. However, the company is facing several challenges, including the Model 3, the Gigafactory and SolarCity.

Tesla in January began mass production of energy-saving batteries that it vows will take electric cars mainstream. The Model 3 will be priced around $35,000, and the company expects to produce the vehicle in higher volumes than its other models. The company said it expects ship as many as 50,000 Model S and Model X's in the first six months of 2017, and current figures show that it's on track to meet the goal. Especially since it will soon launch a new and third model.

Meanwhile, Tesla found support last week when Tencent acquired 5% stake in Tesla worth $1.8 billion, according to the recent USA regulatory filing.

"This bodes well for the company and should add to recent positive sentiment for Tesla's fundamental performance". Yes, Tesla stock isn't exactly a bargain right now - especially in the midst of a 30%-plus year-to-date run - but at this point, you shouldn't hold your breath waiting for a cheaper price.

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