Tesla Shares Soar After Elon Musk's SEC Settlement

Elon Musk bowed to demands from America’s financial markets watchdog to give up his position as chairman of Tesla

Elon Musk bowed to demands from America’s financial markets watchdog to give up his position as chairman of TeslaBOBBY YIP REUTERS

As a quick reminder of what started all this, it was Elon's tweet in August saying he was looking at taking Tesla private and had "funding secured". As the SEC states that they have to be independent, it'll mean Musk no longer has control over the company he founded - a rather symbolic unthroning.

Tesla has recently navigated numerous resignations among senior staff and a now-settled lawsuit with the SEC over insider trading following CEO Elon Musk's Twitter-induced manipulation of the stock price.

Musk agreed to resign as Tesla chairman within 45 days as part of his settlement with the SEC.

Musk has gained legions of fans for his bold approach to business and technology, using his 23 million Twitter followers account to promote Tesla, his rocket company SpaceX, and tunnel venture, the Boring Co. Hitting this metric is supposedly a key step to getting the company profitable, and while Tesla did produce a little over 5,000 Model 3 cars one week in June-proving its facilities are capable-the company seems to be struggling with other components of the manufacturing process. One tweeted to Musk last month: "There are 42 Tesla's sitting at the Union Pacific Railroad in SLC".

The shares closed at US$307.52 Thursday before the SEC announced its enforcement action over the tweets, in which Musk said he had "funding secured" to take the company private at US$420 a share.

Under the agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Musk and the company each will pay a $20m penalty, and Musk will be barred from serving as chairperson for at least three years.

Tesla Motors accelerated production of its pivotal Model 3 sedan during the summer just as CEO Elon Musk promised, vindicating the electric auto maker's leader amid a backdrop of baffling behavior that jeopardized his job.

Lawyers say the settlement and size of the fine may give more ammunition to short-sellers pursuing separate cases against Musk for manipulating the company's shares as well as to a probe by the Justice Department.

Tesla jumped as much as 19% to $315.45 at 7:45 am NY time, more than enough to offset Friday's 14% plunge. When confronted by customers waiting for vehicles for which they've put down a payment, Musk has said Tesla is encountering difficulties delivering cars to customers due to a shortage of car-hauling trucks, but experts say no such shortage exists and that other automakers are shipping their cars around the U.S. just fine.

Latest News