Today: Facebook's market valuation hits $100 billion, Tesla touches $20 billion for the first time. Also: Apple (AAPL) gains as Tim Cook's leadership turns 2, helping Silicon Valley tech stocks beat the larger market.
The Lead: Facebook, Tesla market caps reach new highs
Two pioneering Silicon Valley companies passed milestones in market capitalization Monday, as Facebook closed with a value higher than $100 billion for the first time and Tesla Motors (TSLA) surpassed the $20 billion mark before falling barely below the mark at the close.
Facebook gained 1.9 percent to an all-time closing high of $41.31, reaching as high as $41.94 in intraday trades, the highest share price for Facebook since a price of $45 in its first moments of public trading after a record-breaking IPO that valued the company north of $100 billion. At that closing price, Menlo Park-based Facebook has a market cap -- the total value of all shares in circulation -- of $100.6 billion.
Tesla hit an all-time intraday high of $173, pushing its market cap higher than $20 billion for the first time, but fell back for a daily gain of 1.5 percent at $164.22, which placed its market cap just shy of the mark at $19.94 billion.
Facebook's valuation has skyrocketed 53 percent since its most recent quarterly earnings report, which showed the company is generating a growing percentage of its revenues from mobile usage, after Mark Zuckerberg's creation admitted at the time of its record-breaking IPO that it was woefully behind in that area. The company continues to add to its service, used by more than a billion people worldwide -- on Monday, it announced new shared photo albums.
Facebook ended Monday as one of only six Silicon Valley tech companies with a market cap of more than $100 billion, joining Apple, Google (GOOG), Oracle (ORCL), Cisco (CSCO), and Intel (INTC); eBay (EBAY) and Gilead were the only other companies with a market cap of greater than $50 billion.
"The market is gaining confidence that Facebook is going to be a viable profit-generating machine in the future," Oracle Investment Research analyst Laurence Balter explained to Bloomberg News. "People are checking their Facebook page more and more all the time."
Much like in its IPO, Facebook's current stock price far outpaces its current earnings -- while Facebook's market cap pegs it as the seventh-most-valuable tech company in Silicon Valley, its was the 17th-largest Silicon Valley tech firm in terms of revenues in 2012, and Bloomberg reported its price-to-earnings ratio is the fourth-highest in the S&P 500, around 180-to-1.
Tesla's 2013 Wall Street rise has been even more spectacular than Facebook's, with shares gaining nearly 385 percent through Monday, creating a legion of so-called Teslanaires. The Palo Alto electric car-maker announced that the first three months of the year marked its first profitable quarter, following that up with another quarter of solid growth and a buzzworthy transit idea from CEO and founder Elon Musk.
Monday's gains arrived after a report from the California New Car Dealers Association showed that Tesla's Model S outsold several stalwart car models in its home state in June, when the report said that the company sold 1,097 cars in California. So far this year, Tesla has a 12 percent market share of the "Luxury and Sports" category, the group reported, trailing only Mercedes and BMW, as Consumer Reports has praised the electric sedan and the federal government's safety tests gave it high marks.
"Tesla's the Apple of automotive -- it's managed to cross the automotive and technology fields to become this hot commodity," Baum & Associates auto analyst Alan Baum told Bloomberg. "Justified or not, the expectations for this company are now very high."
SV150 market report: Silicon Valley stocks gain on down day for markets
Gains from Facebook and Apple helped Silicon Valley tech stocks move higher Monday, even as the three major Wall Street indexes declined after Secretary of State John Kerry suggested the U.S. is preparing to take action against Syria.
On CEO Tim Cook's second anniversary of taking the helm at Apple, the Cupertino company gained 0.4 percent to stay higher than $500 a share, at $502.97. Apple is expected to announce new iPhones at an event next month, and reports Monday suggested that the company is going to launch a trade-in program for the popular smartphone, allowing customers to return earlier models for discounts on updated iPhones.
Netflix (NFLX) reached a new 52-week high and closed with a 1.6 percent gain at $282.72 as content chief Ted Sarandos continues to focus on the Los Gatos company's original offerings. Intel is looking to get into television as well, and the Santa Clara chipmaker has confirmed that its media arm has opened offices in New York and Los Angeles; shares dropped 0.7 percent to $22.28, however. Yahoo (YHOO) dropped 1 percent to $27.70 as a feature revealed new facts about CEO Marissa Mayer, and Oracle gained 1.8 percent to $32.34 after the Mercury News's annual investigation of CEO compensation again showed Larry Ellison receiving the biggest paycheck in Silicon Valley. Workday hit new all-time highs, moving as high as $76.76 before closing with a gain of 0.3 percent at $76.01 as the Pleasanton cloud-software company prepares to release quarterly earnings roughly a year after its initial public offering.
The SV150 index of Silicon Valley's largest tech companies: Up 4.14, or 0.32 percent, to 1,306.32
The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index: Down 0.22, or 0.01 percent, to 3,657.57
The blue chip Dow Jones industrial average: Down 64.05, or 0.43 percent, to 14,946.46
And the widely watched Standard & Poor's 500 index: Down 6.72, or 0.4 percent, to 1,656.78
Check in weekday afternoons for the 60-Second Business Break, a summary of news from Mercury News staff writers, The Associated Press, Bloomberg News and other wire services. Contact Jeremy C. Owens at 408-920-5876; follow him at Twitter.com/jowens510.