Perhaps more so than any other company, the ebb and flow of Tesla’s share price seems to be inextricably tied to the tweets and general behavior of its CEO. With just a single tweet, or even offhand remark, Elon Musk seemingly has the power to send Tesla shares reeling or drive the price up considerably. Just last month, for example, Tesla shares dropped by nearly 26 points when Musk, during an earnings conference call, refused to answer certain questions about Tesla’s financial situation. Comically, Musk at one point told one analyst that “boring bonehead questions are not cool.”
Flash forward a few weeks and Musk’s remarks, once again, had an impact on Tesla’s share price. The only difference is that this time around, Musk’s remarks sent Tesla shares through the roof. By the close of trading on yesterday, Tesla shares jumped by more than 28 points, good enough for about a 9.74% increase for the day. As to the reason behind the spike, Musk during the company’s shareholder meeting on Wednesday kept his cool, kept things professional, and calmly explained why Tesla has a bright future.
Above all else, Musk said it was “extremely likely” that Tesla will reach its goal of manufacturing 5,000 Model 3 units by the end of June. Though Musk previously said that Tesla would reach that goal before 2018, Musk over the past few months has periodically pushed back the stated timeline for reaching that threshold. As it stands now, Model 3 production is somewhere in the 3,500 units per week range and the company has about three weeks to boost that figure to 5,000.
On a related note, Musk explained that the company, early on, relied too much upon automation during the Model 3 production process.
“One of the biggest mistakes we made was trying to automate things that are super easy for a person to do,” Musk said, “but super hard for a robot to do.” Musk’s remarks here echo remarks the Tesla CEO made on Twitter and during a CBS interview this past April. If you recall, Musk a few weeks back said the following on Twitter: “Yes, excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake. To be precise, my mistake. Humans are underrated.”
Musk also reiterated a point made during the company’s recent earnings conference call, namely that the company might actually be able to turn a profit during the third and fourth quarter of 2018.
Tesla for some time now has been the most shorted stock in the U.S., and the spike in company shares on Wednesday certainly impacted investors betting against the company.
Investors betting against Tesla lost more than $1 billion Wednesday as the company’s shares rallied the most in over two years, according to estimates from financial technology firm S3 Partners.
Tesla stock closed Wednesday up 9.7 percent at $319.50 per share, meaning investors who sold the stock short lost a collective $1.07 billion in a single day, estimates S3. Tesla bears have lost nearly $5 billion in mark-to-market losses since 2016, S3’s head of predictive analytics Ihor Dusaniwsky told CNBC.
Interestingly enough, Musk just last month said that betting against Tesla was a bad idea. Taking to Twitter, Musk warned that the “short burn of the century” would be coming soon and that it will be “next level.”