By Jeff Bukhari
April 3, 2017

Shares of Tesla surged 6% Monday, driving the company’s market cap past rival Ford for the very first time.

Investors bid Tesla up right at the opening bell after the company reported first-quarter delivery numbers on Sunday that beat analysts’ predictions. Shares quickly rose to an all-time high of $294.15, though the price later pulled back a bit. Monday’s increase pushed Tesla’s market cap to over $47.8 billion, which easily surpasses Ford’s $45.2 billion.

That Tesla now outvalues Ford is pretty remarkable considering the electric car maker was founded by Elon Musk in 2003. Tesla sold 76,000 cars last year, compared to 6.7 million for Ford, whose sales have been lagging. General Motors, whose $50.8 billion market cap would be the next valuation Tesla stands to leapfrog, sold 10 million cars last year.

Although Tesla sales are meager compared with other players in the industry, they are forecast to grow this year. Tesla reported on Sunday that it delivered 25,000 cars in the first quarter, which was more than the 23,000 to 24,000 analysts had expected. Of the cars delivered, 11,550 were its more expensive Model X, with a starting price of $85,550 and added features that can push it up to $142,000. On top deliveries, 4,650 were cars in transit to customers.

Those figures put Tesla on track to meet its guidance of 50,000 vehicles delivered in the first half of the year, which was a nice reassurance for investors after the automaker missed delivery expectations in the fourth-quarter last year.

Sales could jump even higher as Tesla pushes its affordable Model 3 with a starting price of $35,000. With that lowered cost comes an ease of manufacturing that should allow for a higher rate of production.

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