The automotive and tech blogs are aflutter Saturday with news that Elon Musk has gobbled up another chunk of Tesla stock — this time at a discount.
Musk exercised and held a stock option this week that saw the multi-billionaire increase his ownership of Tesla Motors by 532,000 shares. In total, those shares are worth over $101 million as of the last closing price of $191.20/share.
Here’s where the discount comes in: Musk’s option dictated a price pegged to the share value as of Dec. 4, 2009, before the automaker went public, of $6.63/share — or just over $3.5 million.
Sounds like Elon got a stellar deal. But does any of it matter? Is owning 1/5th of Tesla a big deal?
Tesla chief Elon Musk and more than 40 other executives called on the California Air Resources Board to release Volkswagen from its mandate to fix thousands of polluting cars in that state and instead invest that money in electric vehicles.
Musk, and other executives including Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, said regulators would more effectively reduce emissions to “cure the air, not the cars,” according to the letter:
A satisfactory way to fix all the diesel cars does not likely exist, so this solution side steps the great injury and uncertainty that imposing an ineffective fix would place on individual diesel car owners. A drawn out and partial failure of the process will only exacerbate the public’s lack of trust in the industry and its regulators. By explicit design, this proposal would achieve, in contrast, a minimum of a 10 (times) reduction in pollutant emissions as compared to a complete fix.
Speaking at the Barron’s Investment Conference last week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk predicted EVs would be good for 500 miles per charge by 2025.
According to Green Car Reports, Musk believed such vehicles would be possible in 10 years, but tempered those expectations by cautioning that more assembly and battery production facilities would be needed to realize that future. (Read More…)
Tesla could start building cars in China within two years, which could help the automaker jumpstart sales there and increase volume for the small automaker, Reuters reported.
Tesla chief Elon Musk said the car company could cut costs on cars for sale there by one-third. Normally, foreign automakers are required to partner with domestic companies before building cars in China. For example, General Motors has partnered with SAIC Motor since 1998, who also partners with Volkswagen.
Musk said Tesla is already partnering with Baidu, China’s largest search engine, to provide GPS data.
Wait. Tesla is already partnering with China’s largest search engine company? That sounds, um, interesting.
Speaking to Auto Express ahead of Tesla’s first European factory opening, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said internal combustion engines have hit their physical limit for efficiency and that Volkswagen engineers may have resorted to lying out of necessity.
“There must have been lots of VW engineers under pressure — they’ve run into a physical wall of what might be possible so trickery was the only option,” he told the publication. (Read More…)
Tesla owners always enjoyed rapid recharging thanks to the automaker’s Supercharger network. Soon, this privilege will be extended to other EVs.
Tesla’s third production model, its Model X crossover, will start arriving to customers who have already ordered the car September 29, the automaker announced.
Customers for the crossover, which costs $133,000 to $144,000, began ordering options and colors for their cars that include premium sound and “ludicrous speed” modes.
The company announced it would hand over its first few cars to new owners at their headquarters in California.
Tesla’s second stock offering netted the automaker $738 million in cash for its Gigafactory, Model 3 development, and dealer and service upgrades, Bloomberg is reporting.
Banks exercised their options to buy more stock than the initial $500 million estimate, with underwriters Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs buying more than 2 million of the available 3.1 million shares. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he would be interested in buying $20 million worth of shares in the offering.
(Before the stock offering, the banking arms of Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs loaned Musk a combined $475 million, to which Musk pays market rate and is separate from their investment divisions, according to the offering.)
Shares of Tesla were down more than 3 percent in Thursday trading to $245. (Read More…)
Tesla filed Thursday to sell nearly $500 million in shares of its company to raise capital and cover investments the electric carmaker plans to make in the future.
According to the filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the proceeds will go toward the company’s planned investments in the Model 3, Supercharger network and its Gigafactory battery plant in Nevada.
By the book, the stock sale is a short-term pain for long-term gain. Exposing Tesla further to the market carries certain risk, especially considering Tesla’s price growth and relative upside-down balance sheet, but if historical stock prices are any indication, it’ll be a cash cow. Elon Musk asking to buy $20 million in his own stock has pumped up the prices too beyond any distillation worries.
But don’t be mistaken: the second stock sale isn’t really about the cars.
After Tesla Motors announced last week that it had lost $184 million in the second quarter of this year on lower vehicle deliveries and higher spending on its factory ahead of a new model, analysts say the company could have a bumpier road ahead if it can’t raise cash soon.
According to a Reuters report, Tesla is losing $4,000 on each car it sells, and the company’s ability to raise capital could be severely hampered by its spending now and its inability to create positive cash flow in a luxury market that is extremely favorable.
“A capital raise, given the way they’re burning cash today, given the fact that they have future investment needs, seems very likely at some point,” UBS Securities analyst Colin Langan told Reuters.