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Elon Musk's '420' Tesla Tweet Sends Shares Rocketing

08 August 2018

During the conference call accompanying the results, Mr Musk said he expected the company to avoid going back to the markets for capital and to be "essentially self-funding on a go-forward basis".

Several financial industry insiders were unclear why trading was halted, whether it's because Musk is trying to initiate a buyout or because he could be violating FCC regulations.

The tweets have added to speculation about Tesla, which is spending heavily as it ramps up production of its latest vehicle, the Model 3.

The broader timing of the tweet is also suspect, given Musk's recent public denunciations of Tesla's (equally vocal) critics.

He also said he intends to give Tesla's existing shareholders the option of retaining a stake in the company through a special fund.

Musk explicitly notes that he does not intend to merge Tesla and SpaceX, and that the two companies will remain separate, even though the private-shareholder structure would be similar.

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The company is now valued at just over $60 billion, with Musk holding an nearly 20 percent stake in the company.

When asked on Twitter whether he was serious, Musk replied: "Yes.It saves a lot of headaches".

If Mr Musk decides against going private, Mr Gordon said his credibility could take another hit, though one he could weather.

Tesla CEO and founder of the Boring Company Elon Musk spoke at a news conference, June 14, in Chicago.

The stock had climbed slightly earlier in the day after the Financial Times reported that Saudi Arabia has quietly built a big stake in the company. Whether he meant to do that or not, his tweet certainly had that effect: By the time trading halted, Tesla's market value had soared to $61.74 billion, a significant raise from its pre-tweet $58 billion.

It would cost about $71 billion to take Tesla private at $420 per share.

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On April Fool's Day, amid growing market concerns about Tesla's cash crunch, he had tweeted a fake news release that said Tesla would have to file for bankruptcy. He would still allow employees to keep their shares unless they want to jettison theirs at Musk's $420 price, which he noted was 20 percent higher than the stock was as of the Q2 earnings call.

The number of shares borrowed to sell the stock short stands at 33.8 million shares, according to data compiled by IHS Markit, meaning that Musk's tweet alone sent a $US783 million shock through the bear patch.

Musk said he wouldn't sell his stake if the company went private. He went on to say he hopes all shareholders stick with the company but, if not, this is their time to exit while still making a "nice premium". 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".

If the process ends the way I expect it will, a private Tesla would ultimately be an enormous opportunity for all of us.

In a 2013 report, the SEC said companies can use social media outlets to announce important information, so long as they comply with regulations and "investors have been alerted about which social media will be used to disseminate such information".

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Elon Musk's '420' Tesla Tweet Sends Shares Rocketing