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Tesla Motors stock joining Nasdaq 100 index

Tesla Motors Inc., will join the Nasdaq 100 stock index beginning Monday to fill the spot of computer technology company Oracle Corp., which announced last month it would move to the New York Stock Exchange.

Headed by Elon Musk, the billionaire also responsible for PayPal and SpaceX, Tesla manufactures high-end electric cars. The Palo Alto company's Model S sedan starts at $62,200 and can exceed $100,000 with modifications.

The automaker reported selling 8,931 cars in the first half of 2013.

Musk said in June that the company plans to offer a smaller, $30,000 version of the car by 2016. The crossover SUV Model X is due out in 2014; its price has not been announced. 

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Despite its niche, luxury-green market, Tesla's stock price has more than tripled in the last year, prompting some analysts to voice concerns that the shares are overvalued.

Jefferies & Co. analyst Elaine Kwei says otherwise.

"We think Tesla is at the steepest part of its growth curve,” Kwei said, "and that the valuation is not out of line with other high-growth technology companies as Tesla builds out its product line and international distribution."

Kwei said shareholders shouldn't live in fear of a crash in the stock. "If you're looking at it in comparison to other automakers, it doesn't make any sense. But the whole company doesn't make any sense. It's a whole different business model," she said. "Being added shows Tesla can be a long-term investment, and it reflects how far they've come in establishing themselves as an emergent tech company."

News of Tesla's addition to the Nasdaq 100 came after Monday's regular stock-trading session, during which the stock climbed $1.52, or 1.3%, to $121.61. After the opening bell Tuesday, the stock jumped as high as $125 before pulling back to about $122.

A Tesla spokeswoman declined to comment on the Nasdaq 100 announcement. At its current price, Tesla's market capitalization, the total value of its shares, is about $14 billion.

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Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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