Elon Musk was asked whether short sellers were an issue for Tesla as a public company when he took the stand during his trial centered on his “funding secured” tweet from 2018. On August 7th, 2018, he tweeted that he was considering taking Tesla private at $420. “Funding secured,” he said. Tesla investors are suing the CEO in a class-action lawsuit, claiming that he manipulated Tesla’s share price when he made that tweet.
When the CEO took the stand on Friday, attorney Nicholas Porritt asked whether or not short sellers were an issue for Tesla as a public company, Business Insider reported. Jokingly, Elon Musk replied, “I think most people don’t know what short seller means. It’s sort of – is it sort of a seller of small stature? Is it like medium and tall sellers.”
During his testimony, Elon Musk called short selling “a means for, in my opinion, bad people on Wall Street to steal money from small investors.”
Tesla was the most shorted stock on Wall Street up until 2022 when it was finally overtaken by Apple as the company with the shortest interest on the stock market. Several short sellers in the industry have been highly skeptical of Tesla and its products.
The war short sellers have waged upon Elon Musk, and Tesla hasn’t gone unnoticed over the past couple of years. Elon Musk even launched the limited edition Tesla short shorts as a playful jab at the history between Tesla and its critics that have long betted on the company’s failure. Those bets against Tesla have proven to be bad ones, as short sellers have lost billions.
Jim Chanos, David Einhorn, and many others have lost billions due to their short interest in the stock. In July 2022, a report by S3 Partners found that Tesla’s short sellers were down $1.55 within the past 30 days. ARK Invest’s Cathie Wood recently estimated that Tesla shares could increase fivefold during the next five years just from its EV business alone. Wall Street commentator, Jim Cramer, likened Tesla to “a sleeping giant.”
Tesla continues to meet all of its goals and produce vehicles to meet the growing demand. Tesla’s earnings call for Q4 2022 is a mere five days from now, and the company announced earlier this month that it produced a total of 1,369,611 vehicles in 2022.
Disclosure: Johnna is a $TSLA shareholder and believes in Tesla’s mission.
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