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Tesla shares rise on strong sales report

A Tesla Model Y is seen on a Tesla car lot on May 31, in Austin, Texas. Tesla's Model Y has become the world's best selling car in the first quarter of 2023./Brandon Bell/Getty Images

New York (CNN) — Tesla shares shot up 5% Monday after it reported stronger-than-expected quarterly sales. Tesla’s stock is building on an already strong run this year.

The EV company reported record sales of 466,000, nearly double the 255,000 it delivered in the year earlier quarter when sales were depressed from Covid-related lockdowns in China.

The quarterly sales represented nearly 100,000 more than Tesla sold in all of 2019, the year before the pandemic.

The second-quarter sales rose 10% from the first quarter. The second quarter also topped the 447,000 sales consensus from Wall Street analysts.

It was partly driven by continued price cuts Tesla announced this year. Tesla CEO Elon Musk told investors in April that the cuts were generating increased demand for its cars, and that it now had more demand than its capacity to produce them

But the lower prices have also squeezed earnings, and the second-quarter sales results marked the fifth-straight period in which Tesla produced more vehicles than it has delivered to customers. The company built nearly 480,000 vehicles in the quarter.

Some of that may be due to the continued ramp up in production at two new factories, one in Texas, the other in Germany, which opened last spring, and a lag between that increased production and sales. Critics of Tesla in the analyst community point to the gap between production and sales, along with the lower prices, as a sign of decreased demand for Tesla cars in the face of increased competition from established automakers.

But Still, investors have become very bullish on Tesla (TSLA) shares this year. After the shares lost 65% of their value in 2022 to post the worst year for the stock in the company’s history, shares have rebounded to more than double in value in the first half of 2023, gaining 112% through Friday’s close.