Tesla reports solid Q4 auto deliveries, boosting shares

Tesla's new Tesla factory in Shanghai is expected to play an important role for the company in 2020

Tesla reported Friday a jump in fourth-quarter auto deliveries, lifting shares as it ramps up output in the United States and China.

The electric automaker led by Elon Musk delivered 112,000 vehicles in the quarter ending December 31, up about 23 percent from the year-ago period.

The figures boosted full-year deliveries to 367,500, 50 percent above the 2018 level and in line with company forecasts.

The solid figures come four days after Tesla delivered its first batch of China-made cars from its new multibillion-dollar Shanghai "Gigafactory".

Tesla touted its speedy completion of the China plant, saying Friday it has already produced just under 1,000 "customer salable cars" in China "despite breaking ground at Gigafactory Shanghai less than 12 months ago."

After a series of controversies surrounding Musk in 2018, including a quickly-aborted effort to take the company private, Tesla hit key targets in 2019 in the critical ramp-up of the Model 3 vehicle.

Tesla shares have risen to all-time highs, and fewer investors are betting on a decline.

Canaccord Genuity analyst Jed Dorsheimer on Thursday lifted his price target for the company in a note that predicted that sales in China "will be an important driver for the company in 2020."

Shares of Tesla rose 3.8 percent to $446.51 in mid-morning trading.