Tesla’s third-quarter global deliveries of 139,300 vehicles were well above analysts’ expectations.

Tesla delivered record cars worldwide in the third quarter, breaking analysts’ expectations and maintaining its global lead in electric vehicle sales. The Palo Alto, California-based automaker delivered 139,300 vehicles in the third quarter, rewriting the record of 112,000 in the fourth quarter of 2019 and surpassing analysts polled by Bloomberg by 129,950.

Tesla's third-quarter global deliveries of 139,300 vehicles were well above analysts' expectations.

Tesla’s shares, which have risen more than 435 percent this year, narrowed their losses in early trading after the company announced sales figures. The stock was down 3.5 percent at $432.28 as of 10:12 a.m. in New York. Stocks fell across the board after U.S. President Donald Trump tested positive for Covid-19.

“Overall, it’s a beautiful number,” Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said in a telephone interview Friday. “The interpretation is that China is a source of strength.”

Ceo Elon Musk hinted to employees and investors in an internal email in September that the quarter was on track to be a record.

Quarterly figures are a barometer of global demand for electric vehicles. Tesla wants to stay ahead of the competition with start-ups and older car companies, which plan to launch dozens of competitive battery-powered cars in the coming years. According to a recent McKinsey report, Tesla’s share of the global electric car market last year was 16%, the highest in the industry.

Tesla did not say whether it would still deliver at least 500,000 cars this year, a 36 percent increase from 2019. As of September 30, the company had delivered 318,350 vehicles to customers. Global blowout delivery of approximately 181,650 vehicles will be required in the fourth quarter to meet the target.

At the company’s Battery Day event last month, Musk reiterated his goal of 500,000 vehicles by 2020, saying he expected deliveries to grow 30 to 40 percent this year.