Tesla is proving nearly as adept in financial engineering as it is producing brilliant electric-powered cars.
After its shares closed at another record Wednesday, Tesla Motors (ticker: TSLA) announced plans to issue $1.6 billion of new convertible senior notes, which will go toward financing its proposed “gigafactory,” a $5 billion facility to build lithium-ion batteries for its next generation of electric autos.
It is as if Tesla can do no wrong these days. Just a day after Consumer Reports named the Model S sedan the best overall auto for 2014, with a rating of 99 out of 100, its high-flying shares closed at $253, a new high and up an astonishing 68% just since the turn of the year. And even the prospect of a potentially dilutive convertible offering did nothing to deter the bulls, as the shares traded up another 3.4% after hours, to $261.60.
Clearly, this is a momentum stock that recalls the giddy dot-com era of the end of the past century, as do the likes of Netflix (NFLX), biotechs and social-media wunderkinder. Tesla, in particular, has made good use of its high-flying shares to fund its heady growth.