Published: Mon, August 20, 2018
Finance | By Jaime Brady

Tesla stock loses billions after Elon Musk reveals ‘excruciating’ year

Tesla stock loses billions after Elon Musk reveals ‘excruciating’ year

Musk told the Times no one reviewed the tweet before he published it and said he was attempting to be transparent.

In a blog post earlier this week, Musk said that the "funding secured" tweet referred to conversations he had with Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, which left him believing there was "no question" that a deal could be closed.

Tesla shares fell almost 9% in midday trading on Friday to $305.61 after the New York Times story published Thursday evening.

Today's interview with the New York Times is likely to increase that pressure after he admitted to a raft of personal problems, exhaustion and says his friends are concerned for his health.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has so requested information from all Tesla directors, but is unclear what information the authorities require.

When he's not working, Musk told the newspaper that he takes the sedative Ambien to help him sleep.

Since Musk's original tweet, the company's shares have dropped 12 percent overall, and reports of subpoenas being issued by the SEC have sent the company into turmoil.

Alongside that, Musk has been battling journalists and the public at large with Twitter outbursts and thoughts on taking Tesla private as it struggles to manufacture enough Model 3 cars to meet demand.

The shares fell 2.6 percent to $338.69 on Wednesday, below $341.99, their closing price the day before Musk tweeted his plan to take Tesla private.

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Tesla's board has moved to clarify Musk's comments by saying it hasn't received a formal outline of a plan to go private from Musk and hasn't reached a conclusion about whether going private would be achievable for the auto maker. But I was not on weed, to be clear'. Musk discussed his recent tweets claiming that he wanted to take Tesla private once stock prices reached $420 a share.

Since the interview Tesla's board had shown no sign of taking any action. Is there someone who can do the job better?

Musk said that during this meeting the fund's managing director "strongly expressed his support" to contribute funding to take Tesla private. Some suspect there is a deeper meaning to this figure, however, due to the history of drug-related tweets on Musk's Twitter account.

"This past year has been the most hard and painful year of my career", he told the newspaper. "They can have the reins right now".

With $11 billion worth of shares sold short, Tesla is the most shorted US company, according to S3 Partners, a financial analytics firm.

He said he flew straight back after the wedding to Tesla's headquarters to make good on his promise to get those Model 3s out - something he eventually achieved on 1 July.

For now, it looks like Musk is staying in his job, despite speculation earlier this year that he'd be ousted (and, apparently, his own desire to leave): "If you have anyone who can do a better job, please let me know".

Analysts at UBS this week questioned the profitability the Model 3, in a report that said Tesla could lose $6,000 on every base model. "Others could not be corroborated", Tesla said in the statement. The interview did not cover the multiple rounds of Tesla layoffs, workers that could have presumably helped Musk shoulder the load.

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