Good news for Tesla bulls: the Elon Musk-led company just hit a new record high, closing over $949 on Monday, in part on news that the electric vehicle maker tripled its Model 3 sales in China in May amid a boost in demand.
Sales of Tesla’s Model 3 vehicle made in Shanghai topped 11,000 vehicles in May versus 3,635 in April, according to a report by the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA). Telsa did not immediately respond to Fortune‘s request for comment.
That bounce back in demand, after a rough couple months due to the coronavirus, is what Wedbush’s Dan Ives calls “a linchpin to the bull thesis moving forward.”
That bull thesis seems to be getting more traction lately, as the stock has skyrocketed over 120% year to date, and is up over 340% since last summer. The stock’s previous high was $917 in February. Improving demand in China for the Model 3 “remains a ray of light for Tesla in a dark global macro,” writes Ives. Indeed, the numbers on Monday are “a very strong indicator that demand in this key region is starting to ramp after an unprecedented soft macro backdrop and pandemic over the past few months,” according to Ives, and he says “We continue to believe EV demand in China is starting to accelerate with Tesla competing with a number of domestic and international competitors for market share.”
Moving forward, Tesla could reach sales of 400,000 units globally (down from estimates of 550,000 before COVID-19), and about 100,000 in China, Ives estimates. He notes Tesla “continues to dominate the arena,” and believes the electric vehicle-maker is on track to deliver “well over” 500,000 vehicles in 2021—with Model 3 “leading the charge and China a key market on the other side of this dark valley.”
While many Tesla nay-sayers have been skeptical about the company’s prospects in recent years, other famous Tesla bulls like ARK Invest’s Catherine Wood have long touted the company’s merits to investors. Wood told Fortune earlier this year that she thinks Tesla is the furthest along in collecting data on the road than other manufacturers, and back in December, Wood also predicted electric vehicle sales would make up 30% of new car sales by 2023.
Monday’s 7% pop was more bad news for Tesla short sellers, as in the past prominent bears like Andrew Left’s Citron Research, funds at Tom Claugus’ GMT Capital, and Crispin Odey’s Odey Asset Management have previously lost out as the company’s stock continues to climb.
Also on Monday, Tesla pointed to improvements in air quality due to coronavirus-related shutdowns (which Musk previously called “facist”) as a potential boon for electric vehicles, in a report released Monday. “It is not hard to imagine that many cities could become electric-only in the near future as they begin to witness the impact that ICE vehicles have on air quality,” Tesla said in the report.
More must-read finance coverage from Fortune:
- Americans who don’t file taxes have until Oct. 15 to sign up for stimulus checks
- How much of the bear market losses have been recovered?
- Over 42.6 million Americans have filed for unemployment during the coronavirus pandemic
- China’s economy should return to “near-trend growth” by end of 2020: BlackRock
- PPP forgiveness: Lenders push for loans under $150,000 to be turned to grants
- WATCH: Why the banks were ready for the financial impact of the coronavirus