Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) has soared to a new record high share price and valuation on Thursday morning, which sent CEO Elon Musk into the #1 spot on the World’s Richest Person list. However, it was business as usual for the tech entrepreneur, who said he would continue working as normal after hearing the news.
The automaker entered the day at a price of $776.25 after a comfortable after-hours session on Wednesday night, despite the events in Washington D.C. that negatively affected many stocks. Tesla has steadily gained momentum during the day’s first few trading hours, eventually eclipsing the $800 price point for the first time.
If Tesla had not performed a 5:1 stock split in August 2020, the price per share would now be sitting at over $4,000 a piece, which would solidify it as the second-most expensive stock to purchase. The first is Berkshire Hathaway, which sits at a value of over $250,000 a share due to Warren Buffett’s desire to discourage short-term trading that would increase volatility.
Tesla’s legendary stock surge
Tesla kicked off 2020 at a share price of $86.02. The company’s tech improvements and the extended streak of consecutive profitable quarters helped the price eclipse the $700 barrier on New Year’s Eve. After an over 700% increase in price per share, the company had reached an already massive valuation, making it the most valuable car company on Earth by a long shot.
At the beginning of trading on Thursday, Tesla needed to increase by $44.02, or 5.82% to reach the $800 price point. Within two hours of the beginning of Thursday’s session, it did that, reaching an all-time high of $808.69 at around 11:30 EST.
The news sent Elon Musk’s net worth skyrocketing past Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who has held the #1 spot since 2017. Bezos was the first person to eclipse the $200 billion net worth but dropped back slightly as Amazon’s stock dipped in mid-September.
Musk: “Back to Work”
Musk’s new label as the world’s richest man didn’t phase him. After @TeslaOwnersSV tweeted the CEO’s new net worth and title as the wealthiest person on Earth, Musk said, “How strange,” and in a separate tweet, “Well, back to work…”
Well, back to work …
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 7, 2021
The salary-less Musk has a 20.8% stake in Tesla, which is the main contributor to his massive net worth. He also owns stake in his other companies, like SpaceX and Boring Co., but they are not publicly traded. Musk is required to accept a salary by California state law, but it accrues in a company-owned bank account. “It just ends up accumulating in a Tesla bank account somewhere,” he said in 2018.
Musk’s focus will likely remain fixated on solving battery constraints, improving manufacturing, and working to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy. The title of “World’s Richest Person” would be a feather in the cap to many, but not him.
At the time of writing, TSLA was trading at $800.19.
Disclaimer: Joey Klender is a TSLA Shareholder.