Tesla is ticking higher ahead of the big Model 3 launch

Tesla shares are higher and little changed in early trading on Friday ahead of the handover event of the first Model 3 sedans.

Tesla is trading up 0.50% to $US336.34 at 9:39 a.m. ET.

The $US35,000 vehicle is Tesla’s first mass-market vehicle targeted at a general audience, and is a significant release for the company as it aims to quintuple sales by 2018.

Tesla’s stock jumped to all-time highs in April after the company said it made record deliveries in the first quarter. The move lifted Tesla’s larger market capitalisation above Ford’s.

But shares have since pared their gains as investors continue to grapple with whether Tesla’s valuation (about $US55 billion as of Friday) is too high. Tesla has scored profits in only two quarters since it went public in 2010, lagging the so-called big three automakers including Fiat Chrysler and GM.

Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, has argued that Tesla’s value is expensive based on current production values, but “low if you believe in Tesla’s future.”

Tesla is scheduled to report second-quarter earnings on August 2.

Get the latest Tesla stock price here.

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