Why Tesla shares rose 24% last month

The electric vehicle maker opened a new factory and announced a share split. One of these events is meaningful and the other is kind of silly, but both moved the market.

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This article was originally published on Fool.com. All figures quoted in US dollars unless otherwise stated.

What happened

Shares of Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) gained 23.8% in March, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The electric vehicle (EV) veteran built this jump around the opening of a new factory and a bit of overly popular share-count management. 

So what

First, Tesla CEO Elon Musk traveled to Germany for the opening of a new car and battery Gigafactory in the Berlin area. There, he met up with Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany to oversee the first 30 vehicle deliveries from the delayed factory. Tesla's stock rose 7.9% that day.

Later, Tesla's board of directors took steps toward a stock split later this year. Shareholders will be asked to allow a boost to the share count beyond the current authorization of 2.1 billion, which already has plenty of wiggle room for the issuance of new shares. The current share count stops at 1.03 billion. Investors were quick to embrace this idea, raising Tesla's stock price by 8.9% over the next two days. 

Now what

The new factory is a potential game-changer, so it was good to see Tesla work its way through the German red tape and cut the ribbon at long last. The company plans to crank out 500,000 cars per year from this factory, alongside 50 gigawatt-hours of rechargeable batteries. For some context, Tesla delivered a total of 936,000 EVs globally last year.

The stock split is honestly not that interesting. Sure, it's a sign that Tesla's leadership expects share prices to continue rising, but the move itself doesn't make a real difference to most investors. If you can't afford a full share of Tesla at $1,045, your broker probably lets you pick up a small fraction of a share at no extra cost.

All things considered, Tesla continues to impress market makers and reward shareholders. My own investment in this company has gained 2,460% since the summer of 2014, and I have no plans to close that position anytime soon. In my view, Tesla is still in the early innings of a fantastic long-term plan. 

This article was originally published on Fool.com. All figures quoted in US dollars unless otherwise stated.

Anders Bylund owns Tesla. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns and has recommended Tesla. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson. 

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