Tesla Inc. has more money in the bank than ever, which could be just the assurance credit raters have been waiting for to upgrade the company’s bonds.

The electric-car maker ended the fourth quarter with a record US$6.3 billion of cash, up nearly $1 billion from the third quarter. It’s also strung together three straight quarters of positive cash flow. That figure topped $1 billion in the latest quarter, helping to send its shares to record highs, which in turn could make more than $4 billion of its bonds eligible to convert to equity.

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