Tesla stock suffers worst week since 2020 as Elon Musk sells, major shareholder calls for new CEO

The shares of Tesla Inc. closed their worst week since 2020 on Friday, as Chief Executive Elon Musk sold billions in stock and received a call from a prominent investor to step down as the helm of the electric vehicle maker.

Tesla TSLA,
-4.72%
Shares fell 4.7% on Friday for a weekly drop of 16.1%, the fourth worst week in history for the stock after a three-week streak in late February and early March 2020 as investors sold stocks fearing the securities of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tesla ended the week with a market cap of less than $500 billion for the first time since November 2020, and its stock price almost fell below $150 for the first time since that month, ending the week at $150.05.

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The drop occurred as Musk sold stock, which he has done repeatedly since November 2021. Musk announced the sale of more than $3.5 billion in Tesla stock late Wednesday, after executing the trades during the previous three trading sessions, when the price fell cumulatively. 12.4%. In total, the Tesla CEO has sold $39.3 billion worth of Tesla stock in the past 13 months, according to calculations from Dow Jones Market Data and MarketWatch.

The recent sales appeared to be related to Musk’s acquisition of the social media platform Twitter, which he bought for about $44 billion this year. It is the second time he has sold shares since closing that deal in October.

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Musk has reportedly spent much of his time on Twitter, which seems to have angered some prominent Tesla investors. Leo KoGuan, Tesla’s third-largest individual shareholder, publicly called for a new CEO on Twitter this week, as a chorus of previously inflammatory accounts on the service expressed displeasure with the stock’s decline and Musk’s actions.

Bullish analysts have also raised concerns about Musk’s focus and stock sales. Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives, who has an outperform rating and a $250 12-month price target on Tesla stock, wrote Thursday that “Musk continues to pour gasoline into the blazing fire surrounding the Tesla story by buying more shares.” sell and by his actions degrade the Tesla brand. on Twitter.”

“Musk’s nightmare owning Twitter has been a Twilight Zone episode that never ends and keeps getting worse,” Ives wrote. “In late April, Musk said he was done selling Tesla stock, instead the exact opposite happened and put tremendous pressure on Tesla stock, which has significantly underperformed the market since Musk acquired Twitter in late October.”

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Tesla shares are now down 57.4% year to date in 2022 as the S&P 500 index SPX,
-1.11%
decreased by 18.3%. Tesla’s market cap was $474.4 billion at the end of Friday.