“People at this point ought to be a little more optimistic about the future of Tesla because we’ve confounded the critics at every turn,” Musk said moments after Tesla went public at $17 a share. “At a certain point, people have to get tired of being wrong.”
Eight years later, Tesla's market value sits at $58.7 billion, higher than traditional automakers General Motors, which is valued at $56.4 billion, and Ford, which has a market cap of $44.1 billion. But Musk is still fending off the skeptics, especially those who doubt the company will ever turn a profit.
Tesla shares, trading at about $347 on Friday afternoon, have gained nearly 2,000 percent since the stock debuted. The shares have been trending back toward a record high of $389.61, which it hit in September. But to continue on that path upward, Tesla needs to clear three big hurdles.
Investors already saw in April what happens when Tesla falls short of its targets. Worries about production growth were one key reason why the company's stock sunk to a 52-week low of $244.59 in April.