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Longtime Tesla bear loses bet against TSLA short-turned-bull, donates $15k to charity

Tesla Model 3 production line in Gigafactory 3, Shanghai, China. (Credit: Tesla)

Longtime Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) bear and critic Whitney Tilson, whose fund was shut down partly due to his bet against the electric car maker, is ponying up $15,000 to several charities after losing a bet to several TSLA bulls earlier this year. Tilson lost the bet after Tesla posted its blockbuster third-quarter earnings on Wednesday.  

Back in March, Tilson and Citron Research founder Andrew Left, a TSLA bear-turned-bull, made a friendly bet about the electric car maker’s chances at turning a profit in 2019. Tilson, who at the time was predicting that TSLA stock would fall below $100 per share, argued that there was no way the electric car maker could make a profit in any quarter of 2019. 

Left, a former TSLA bear that also lost a lot due to his bet against the electric car maker, argued otherwise. The ex-TSLA short stated that despite the negativity surrounding the company, Elon Musk and Tesla have remained resilient. Left noted that he is convinced of Tesla’s success, despite him being a plaintiff in a case against Elon Musk’s “funding secured” tweet last year. 

In a post on his Empire Financial Research page following the release of Tesla’s Q3 2019 results, Tilson explained that he is honoring his bet against Left and a number of other bulls. As part of the terms of their deal, Tilson will now be donating $15,000 to various charities of Left and the other bulls’ choice. 

“I lost my charity bet with Andrew Left and a dozen other folks that Tesla wouldn’t report a positive net income quarter this year, so I’ll be donating $15,000 to various charities of their choice,” Tilson wrote

That being said, Tilson maintained that he remains skeptical of Tesla, stating in his post that the company’s Q3 results didn’t make sense. He suspects that Tesla did a classic “kitchen sink” accounting for the first half of the year to make its third-quarter results look better. Tilson is yet to provide any proof to back up these suspicions. 

Tesla stock’s recovery following the Q3 2019 earnings results provided TSLA one of its best days in over six years. The recovery resulted in a squeeze which cost shorts $1.4 billion in the day after the third-quarter earnings call. The electric car maker’s shares have continued to rise since then, resulting in even bigger blows to short-sellers betting against the company. 

As of writing, Tesla shares are trading +1.70% at $333.70 per share.

Disclosure: I have no ownership in shares of TSLA and have no plans to initiate any positions within 72 hours.

Longtime Tesla bear loses bet against TSLA short-turned-bull, donates $15k to charity
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