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Tesla shares surge after company posts record deliveries

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By Akanksha Rana and Subrat Patnaik

(Reuters) - Tesla Inc's stock surged 5% on Monday after the electric car maker posted record quarterly deliveries on strong demand in China that helped offset the impact of a global shortage in auto parts.

The company headed by Elon Musk said on Friday it was encouraged by the strong reception of its Model Y crossover in China and that it was quickly progressing to full production capacity.

Tesla said it delivered 184,800 vehicles globally during the first quarter of 2021, above estimates of 177,822 vehicles, according to Refinitiv data.

"Tesla is executing impeccably. I am not surprised by the strong deliveries," said Roth Capital Partners analyst Craig Irwin, even as he added that the stock is "egregiously overvalued."

"EVs are an exciting place to be, and Tesla is the leader."

At least three brokerages raised their price targets on Tesla's stock. Wedbush was the most aggressive, increasing it by $50 to $1,000, much higher than the median analyst price target of $712.50, according to Refinitiv data. Wedbush also raised its rating to "outperform" from "neutral."

Tesla last traded at $695. The shares are down about 1% so far in 2021, but they remain up more than 600% over the past 12 months.

Tesla's $668 billion market capitalization makes the company by far the most valuable carmaker, even though its production is a fraction of rivals such as Toyota Motor Corp, Volkswagen AG and General Motors Co.

Tesla managed to produce roughly the same number of vehicles in the first quarter as in the fourth quarter, even as a global semiconductor shortage hampered automakers.

"Great work by Tesla team!" Musk tweeted on Monday. "Special mention of Tesla China."

"The (EV) sector looks primed to resume its march higher, considering the surging demand for EVs in China, Europe, and the U.S.," said Jesse Cohen, a senior analyst at "Tesla's delivery numbers could be the spark needed to jump-start the next rally."

(Reporting by Subrat Patnaik and Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Noel Randewich in Oakland, Calif.; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Matthew Lewis)

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