Tesla's value underrated by Musk, top investor says

Kenny Grant
August 9, 2018

Musk has 22.3 million followers on Twitter, and Tesla's share price was already rising after the Financial Times reported that Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund had taken a $2bn stake in the company.

Midway through the trading session in NY on Wednesday, Tesla shares were down 5% at $374 after surging 11% on Tuesday. Board members met several times and also addressed funding for the move, according to the statement.

Mr Musk has been under intense pressure this year to turn his money-losing, debt-laden company into a profitable higher-volume manufacturer, a prospect that has sent Tesla's valuation higher than that of GM.

The facility, which is expected to cost around US$5 billion, is seen as key to Musk's vision of tapping the Chinese market and finally making Tesla profitable.

The tweet was only 61 characters long, but it was powerful enough to make Tesla CEO Elon Musk $1.4 billion richer.

Elon Musk became $1.4 billion on Tuesday richer as Tesla's stock surged after he tweeted that he was thinking of taking the company private. Many initially thought it was Elon Musk's attempt at a bad joke about marijuana, because "420" has always been associated with pot. He called the funding "secured" for what would be the biggest-ever corporate buyout, but he hasn't disclosed details.

On Wednesday, Breitbart News' Economics and Finance editor John Carney expressed doubts about plans to take Tesla private, suggesting the move may face insurmountable legal headwinds.

Earlier today, Elon Musk did what he does best and set the internet ablaze - this time, based on a tweet about potentially taking Tesla private again.

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Just last week, he revealed he had been working 110 hours a week to deliver on short-term promises he had made to Wall Street, a load he traced to his boorish behaviour toward two analysts earlier this year.

However, he may not reap an instant reward in the event that Tesla goes private at $420 a share.

Musk also wants Tesla's employees to remain shareholders.

"They're being bombarded with questions that we don't think are as relevant to the long-term value of the company", said Sam Korus, an analyst for ARK Investment Management, which had 443,874 Tesla shares as of 30 June.

There still are near-term execution risks around ramping up Model 3 production and the ability to generate cash, Jonas believes.

Net net, Rusch reiterates an Outperform rating on Tesla shares, with a price target of $385, which represents a slight upside potential from current levels.

Other board members mentioned in the statement included Robyn Denholm, Ira Ehrenpreis, Antonio Gracias and Linda Johnson Rice.

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