In August things looked pretty good for Tesla (TSLA). The company performed better than expected in the second quarter and investors were optimistic about what the company could do in the second half of 2018.
After all, Tesla has blown less money than expected, streamlined spending, and improved the production of Model 3 with significant measures. Management maintained its outlook for profitable quarters and free cash flow in quarters 3 and 4.
The results ignited the stock, pushed to $ 360 and threatened with new all-time highs. The shorts were in trouble and CEO Elon Musk probably thought he was throwing gas into the fire. Instead, he threw cold water on it.
He tweeted that he intends to privately take Tesla for $ 420 a share, and he has "secured funding." Even more powerful, he sent the tweet during the trading day, confusing almost anyone who tracks the stock. Why is the stock not stopped? Has anyone hacked Musk's Twitter (TWTR) account? If not, is he real?
All these questions and more came up. Enthusiasts cheered the move. Long-time stock market veterans – such as Stephen "Sarge" Guilfoyle – were surprised that Musk snapped at the financial markets so arrogantly with the nose. "Yeah, I'm upset when you make fun of our financial center," he mused. Some people tidied up by shorting the stock as it scratched.
As a result of his actions, Musk has been investigated by the SEC, fined $ 20 million, and has to resign from his role as CEO for the next three years. But would he have found a way to make it work? Maybe his funding was not secured. It may have been too difficult to involve long-time investors who believe in Tesla in a go-private deal.
Nevertheless, some say he should have gone private. In particular, Tim Draper, a venture capitalist from Silicon Valley and an early investor in Tesla and Musk's other SpaceX business, says Musk would have spared trouble.
It was a "human error" to send the tweet, Draper said at the Web Summit conference in Lisbon on Tuesday. Apart from that, he also argued that Musk "probably should have taken the matter only privately".
At this point I'm not sure that a private visit would take Musk and Tesla out of the limelight. Similar to Uber, a company of this size is too hard to find for too long. However, as a private company, Tesla would be relieved of the many obligations it has as a public company: quarterly reports, SEC filings, exchange requirements and many other obstacles would be eliminated.
But also the access of Tesla to public markets. Would that be important? Perhaps No More At several analyst phone conferences this year, Musk has expressed its desire that Tesla no longer have to rely on borrowed funds to fund Tesla's business. These include vehicle construction, research and development as well as expansion efforts.
How to trade Tesla shares after the crazy month
Whether Tesla's cash flows will remain as strong as in the third quarter is up for debate. But if Tesla does not rely on capital increases through stock sales, maybe even does not the public markets need more. It can still take on debt and there are plenty of investment funds in the Bay Area looking for a home.
Musk would have less of a headache than a private company, but for now it does not look as if it does. We will watch TSLA for a long time, it seems.
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