Tesla Gains Nearly $4 Billion After Single Questionable Elon Musk Tweet
Aug 08 2018
The company's shares rose more than 7% on the news, before Tesla trading was halted.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has taken to the company's blog to explain why he is considering taking the automaker private, as he announced in a series of tweets earlier on Tuesday. They closed at $379.57 - up 11 percent, but far from the $420 price Musk was dangling.
He has frequently lambasted "short" sellers of Tesla shares - those who take bets that the stock will fall in value.
Musk also wants Tesla's employees to remain shareholders.
The confusion caused by Mr Musk's Tuesday announcement via Twitter also prompted regulators of the Nasdaq stock market to temporarily suspend trading in Tesla's stock.
In follow-up tweets, Musk said shareholders could either sell at $420 or hold their shares and go private, adding that he was super appreciative of Tesla shareholders and would ensure their prosperity in any scenario. With approximately 170 million outstanding shares, Musk's proposed privatization of the company at $420 per share would require $71.4 billion, about a 17 percent increase.
"This is especially true for a company like Tesla that has a long-term, forward-looking mission".
That came shortly before 3:30 p.m. when Tesla published an email that Musk sent to company employees, saying thatno final decision on taking the company private had been made and that it would ultimately be left to shareholders.
The tweet spurred a rush of trading in Tesla's options, driving volume to 500,000 contracts, more than twice the daily average, according to options analytics firm Trade Alert. The company had a market value of $58 billion as of Monday's close. Reports of the PIF stake have pushed Tesla stock to a session high, surging 6.59% to 364.54 at the time of publication.
The stock had climbed slightly earlier in the day after the Financial Times reported that Saudi Arabia has quietly built a big stake in Tesla. "Funding secured", Musk said on Twitter, without disclosing the source of the funding.
Tesla has been publicly traded since 2010, and has seen its share price rise from just under $20 then to $360 at time of writing. In a public letter posted to Tesla's official website, Musk elaborated on his intentions to privatize Tesla - at least in the short-term.
Bloomberg reports that if Musk managed to scrape together the cash to go private, it would be the largest leveraged buyout in history. He also suggested the move could only be temporary as he stated "once Tesla enters a phase of slower, more predictable growth, it will likely make sense to return to the public markets".
At $420 per share, it would cost about $71 billion to take Tesla private.
"This has nothing to do with accumulating control for myself", Musk wrote.