July 13 (Reuters) - Shares of Tesla surged 7% on Monday to a record high, extending a two-week rally to more than 60% as investors bet the electric car maker could report a quarterly profit and potentially join the S&P 500 index.
The latest leg of Tesla’s rally comes after the company on Saturday cut the price of its Model Y sport utility vehicle by $3,000, just four months after its launch, as it tries to maintain sales momentum in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Higher-than-expected second-quarter vehicle deliveries, announced earlier this month, have some analysts and investors expecting the company will show a profit in its quarterly report on July 22. That would mark Tesla’s first cumulative four-quarter profit, a key requirement for it to be added to the S&P 500.
Monday’s surge added $24 billion to Tesla’s stock market value, an increase approaching General Motors Co’s entire value of $35 billion.
With its market capitalization now at $310 billion, Tesla would be among the most valuable companies ever added to the S&P 500. It would be more valuable than 95% of the index’s existing components and about even with Procter & Gamble Co. Adding Tesla to the S&P 500 would have a major impact on investment funds that track the index, forcing them to buy tens of billions of dollars worth of Tesla’s stock.
Since late June, demand for bullish call options on Tesla shares has been greater than demand for protective put options, which traders warn is a sign of exuberance.
Tesla on Friday set its annual shareholder meeting for Sept. 22 at its Fremont factory in California. The same day would also be “Battery Day,” when Tesla it is expected to reveal significant advances in battery technology.
Tesla’s stock rose as much as 16% earlier on Monday, and it has gained about 600% over the past year.
Reporting by Noel Randewich; Additional reporting by April Joyner; Editing by Richard Chang
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