- S&P Dow Jones Indices announced on Monday that Tesla will join the S&P 500 effective prior to trading on Monday, Dec. 21.
- Upon entry, Tesla is already one of the S&P 500's 10 most valuable companies based on Monday's closing prices.
- Tesla was snubbed in September after it met criteria to be included in the S&P 500 but was not initially picked by the S&P 500 Index Committee.
Tesla is finally joining the S&P 500.
S&P Dow Jones Indices announced on Monday that the carmaker will be added to the benchmark index prior to trading on Monday, Dec. 21. Based on Monday's closing prices, Tesla would be one of the 10 most valuable companies in the index.
Tesla shares spiked more than 13% in extended trading on the news, as money managers with funds that track the S&P 500 will need to buy the stock for their portfolios.
The company, led by CEO Elon Musk, has long been plenty valuable enough for inclusion in the S&P 500 — the market cap minimum is $8.2 billion — but there are other factors that have kept Tesla out. The make-up of the S&P 500 is determined by what's known as the "Index Committee" at S&P Dow Jones Indices, which analyzes quantitative as well as qualitative factors.
Tesla was snubbed in September after it met criteria to be included in the index but was not initially picked by the committee. Companies must report four straight quarters of profit as determined by U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).
Tesla recently reported its fifth consecutive quarter of profit on third-quarter revenue of $8.77 billion. The company also reported that it delivered 139,300 vehicles during the third quarter, a new record for it.
The committee meets on a quarterly basis to rebalance the index, though companies can be added or removed from the S&P at any time. Given the potentially market-moving nature of additions and deletions from the index, the process is tightly guarded. Even companies that are set to be added receive no advance warning.
Adding Tesla is no easy feat after the stock's record run pushed the company's market cap above $380 billion, making it the largest company ever to be added to the S&P, according to analysis from equity research firm Baird. The stock, which split 5 for 1 in August, has more than quadrupled in value in 2020.
There's currently over $11.2 trillion in assets benchmarked to the S&P 500, with roughly $4.6 trillion of the total in indexed funds, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.
"Due to the large size of the addition, S&P Dow Jones Indices is seeking feedback through a consultation to the investment community to determine if Tesla should be added all at once on the rebalance effective date or in two separate tranches ending on the rebalance effective date," S&P said in a statement.
The addition represents a historic milestone for Musk and his electric car company, which has seen its fair share of ups and downs.
"This is another major feather in the cap for Tesla bulls joining the S&P 500," said Dan Ives, an analyst at research firm Wedbush Securities who has a neutral rating on the stock. "It speaks to the sustained profit trajectory that Tesla is now finally getting into this elusive club after much noise on the Street."
CNBC's Jennifer Elias contributed to this story.