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Tesla shares surge to all-time high, pushing its market cap past Ford's

Tesla shares hit an all-time high on Monday, after the electric carmaker announced strong first-quarter delivery numbers Sunday that outpaced analysts' expectations.

Tesla shares surged as high as $294.15, blowing past a prior high of $291.42, set on Sept. 4, 2014, and pushing Tesla's market capitalization past that of Ford. Tesla's market cap is now about $47.8 billion, while Ford's sits at about $44.8 billion.

Now, Tesla is just a few billion behind General Motors' $50.9 billion market cap.

To put this in perspective, Tesla sold just over 76,000 cars in 2016, whereas Ford sold 6.7 million cars in the same year.

Baird analyst Ben Kallo said in a research note sent Sunday that Tesla is on track to meet or exceed guidance for the first half of 2017, "and we expect shares to trade higher as
continued execution allows investors to focus on the Model 3."

And from here on out, "it's all about the Model 3," said Guggeheim analyst Rob Cihra, in a note sent Monday.

"To date, we believe Tesla's high-priced, high-performance Model S sedan and X SUV have practically been pure-battery EV proofs of concept, while its upcoming Model 3 is rather the car Tesla has been working toward this whole time – its first to be engineered from the outset for mainstream $35K+ pricepoints and, most importantly, lower-cost/ease-of-manufacturing," he said.

Cihra has a buy rating on the stock, and raised his price target from $300 to $320.

CFRA analyst Efraim Levy said in a note sent Monday, that Tesla's delivery numbers bode well for the company and should add to recent positive sentiment, but he reiterated his sell rating on the stock.

"Despite a track record of often missing performance target deadlines," Levy said, "this pace should put TSLA on schedule to meet its guidance of more than 47,000 vehicle deliveries for the '17 first half. Smoothness with legacy vehicles will likely allow more focus on a successful launch of the critical Model 3 vehicle later this year. Still, TSLA's rich valuation concerns us."

Correction: This story has been revised to correct the date of Tesla's previous all time high. It was Sept. 4, 2014.