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Elon Musk's tweet draws Tesla investor lawsuit over share price swing
12 August 2018, 06:26 | Austin Hogan
The Tesla logo is seen outside of their showroom in Washington DC. Saul Loeb AFP Getty Images
Two investors filed suit against Tesla CEO Elon Musk and the electric vehicle company after he tweeted he wanted to take the firm private, causing the share price to inflate and short-selling investors to lose millions. So, even if Musk did post the tweet hoping to damage short sellers by boosting Tesla stock price, it wouldn't be illegal unless it were untrue, she said.
The two lawsuits were filed three days after Mr Musk announced on Twitter that planned to take Tesla private in a record $72bn (£56bn) transaction. Well, Tesla is now a publicly traded company and Mr. Musk doesn't like this because being public, as he puts it, "subjects us to the quarterly earnings cycle that puts enormous pressure on Tesla to make decisions that may be right for a given quarter, but not necessarily right for the long-term". The company is based in nearby Palo Alto, California. The share price later fell.
Late Friday Musk mocked short investors in a series of tweets, suggesting his antipathy toward them hasn't dimmed.
FILE PHOTO: Tesla Motors Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk pauses during a news conference in Tokyo September 8, 2014.
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The stock has since retreated, in part following reports that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission had begun inquiring about Musk's activity. "Because Musk has not secured financing, and has issued false and materially misleading information into the market, short sellers of Tesla stock were forced to cover their positions by purchasing shares at artificially inflated prices after 12:48pm on August 7, 2018".
Short-sellers of Tesla's stock have faced increasing aggression from Musk over recent months, with the billionaire citing the lack of market support as one of the main reasons he wants to take the company private.
The proposed class period in Isaacs' lawsuit runs from the afternoon of Aug. 7 through the next day, and in Chamberlain's lawsuit runs from Aug. 7 to Aug. 10.
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