What happened

Shares of electric-car company Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) rose 5.2% as of 3:30 p.m. EDT on Wednesday. The gain was Tesla's biggest jump in seven weeks, according to MarketWatch.

Though there wasn't any news on Wednesday material enough to justify such a sharp gain in the automaker's stock price, Tesla shares have notably seen a clear positive upward trend recently. This is likely an extension of this trend.

Tesla Model S, Model 3, and Model X.

Image source: Tesla.

So what

Including Wednesday's gain, Tesla shares have risen 17% since Aug. 23. In addition, the stock is up 12% in the past five days alone.

Some of the stock's rise may reflect sentiment from some investors that shares were oversold in the time period leading up to this rebound. Despite the growth stock's recent run-up, shares are down 33% from the stock's high of about $366 last year. Further, a combination of soaring revenue and headwinds for the stock price over the last 12 months has meant Tesla's price-to-sales ratio fell from about 3.5 to 1.7. In addition, Tesla has gone from negative free cash flow of $4.1 billion in 2017 to positive free cash flow of $1.4 billion in the trailing-12-month period.

Perhaps investors are now warming up to Tesla stock at this lower valuation, considering this to be a nice entry point.

Now what

While it's interesting to ponder what's behind Tesla's near-term stock movements, investors should remain focused on the electric-car maker's underlying business. Specifically, investors should look for Tesla to continue executing on its ambitious targets for a 45% to 65% year-over-year increase in vehicle sales in 2019 and positive net income in Q3 and beyond. 

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.