A recent earnings call with CEO Elon Musk didn't go very well, and a recent staff shake up alarmed some investors, but still, Tesla's stock is on an upswing. Shares were up about 2 percent on the news that Consumer Reports had reversed its previous position: It would now recommend the Tesla Model 3 after updates were made to improve the car's performance.
And if you invested in Tesla in 2010, when it made its initial public offering, that investment could have paid off, too. A $1,000 investment in the company would be worth more than $12,000 as of Friday, according to CNBC calculations, or over 12 times as much, including price appreciation and dividend gains reinvested.
In the charts below, all data splits are adjusted and gain-loss figures do not include dividends, interest, distributions or fees except on cash accounts. The portfolio value represents current holdings and the comparison charts represent current and historical prices of individual benchmarks, stocks or exchange-traded funds.
Despite Tesla's progress, any individual stock can over- or under-perform and past returns do not predict future results. And some analysts were still bearish after the company's earnings call, even labeling Musk's behavior a red flag.
"What was important about this is, when you start trying to divert attention away from the quarters … that is a significant change in behavior," Herb Greenberg, a CNBC contributor and partner at research firm Pacific Square Research, said on "Halftime Report." "He's always been bizarre. But this one [is] off the charts."
"When you look at that dismissiveness of your investors and that arrogance toward your investors, I don't think that's a good sign," said Greenberg. "The fact is you're talking about questions any investor in this company wants answers to. They aren't even as much about the quarter as they are about how is the business doing."
Tesla stock is still about 26 percent below its all-time high of $389.61 last year, and the company added two of its top energy executives — Arch Padmanabhan and Bob Rudd — to a growing list of 10 other departures amid a major staff reorganization at the company.
Still, Tesla executives, among other industry analysts, are generally optimistic about the company's future. "To ensure that Tesla is well prepared for the future, we have been undertaking a thorough reorganization of our company," Musk wrote in a statement to employees.
"As part of the reorg, we are flattening the management structure to improve communication, combining functions where sensible and trimming activities that are not vital to the success of our mission. We will continue to hire rapidly in critical hourly and salaried positions to support the Model 3 production ramp and future product development."
Wealth-management firm Baird reiterated its outperform rating for Tesla shares and said many of the stories about the company miss the big picture: "Negative headlines have increased substantially in the past month and, in our opinion, increasingly immaterial reports have dominated news cycles," analyst Ben Kallo said in a note to clients. "We think we have hit a peak in negative coverage/sentiment, and believe shares could appreciate significantly with execution, which should coincide with an improvement in sentiment."
If you're considering investing in Tesla or in the stock market in general, experts advise starting slow. Experienced investors Warren Buffett, Mark Cuban and Tony Robbins suggest beginning with index funds, which hold every stock in an index, offer low turnover rates, attendant fees and tax bills, and fluctuate with the market to eliminate the risk of picking individual stocks.
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