Friday 3 January 2020 3:58 pm

Tesla shares hit record highs as firm beats vehicle delivery estimates

Shares in Elon Musk’s Tesla today hit record highs after the firm beat Wall Street estimates for annual vehicle deliveries and met the low-end of its own target.

Tesla said it delivered 112,000 vehicles in the fourth quarter, including 92,550 Model 3s and 19,450 Model S/X SUVs, which was above expectations of 104,960 vehicles, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Read more: Tesla delivers first electric cars made in China

In total, the Silicon Valley carmaker delivered approximately 367,500 vehicles during 2019, just beating the low end of its target to deliver 360,000 to 400,000 vehicles in the year.

Shares in Tesla rose nearly four and a half per cent to $449.2.

The results are a helpful vindication of Musk, whose mercurial behavior over the last two years has come under scrutiny from federal regulators and shareholders alike.

Musk’s tendency to tweet with abandon has led to two high-profile court cases since 2018.

The billionaire settled a US Securities and Exchange Commission probe in March 2018 for $20m, and was cleared of defamation by a Los Angeles jury in December last year.

Tesla also provided an update on its Shanghai factory, which has started churning out Model 3 cars.

Read more: Elon Musk wins defamation case over ‘pedo guy’ tweet

It said the plant demonstrated a production run-rate capability of more than 3,000 units per week.

The $2bn factory, Tesla’s first car manufacturing site outside the United States, is the centrepiece of its ambitions to boost sales in the world’s biggest auto market and avoid higher import tariffs imposed on U.S.-made cars.