Tesla’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO, Elon Musk Filmed Smoking Marijuana, Stock Dives
Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEo Elon Musk was filmed smoking marijuana, drinking whiskey and wielding a sword just hours before the automaker said its accounting chief would leave after a 1-month stint, the latest in a string of unusual behavior and executive departures that is stunning investors.
Shares of the fledgling EV tumbled as much as 10% Friday, with investors on edge after a tumultuous August during which Mr. Musk proposed and then abruptly pulled the plug on the ‘420’ go-private deal.
Chief Accounting Officer Dave Morton resigned because of discomfort with the attention on the company and pace of work during that time, Tesla said in a SEC filing Friday.
Mr. Morton, whose departure comes after the US Securities and Exchange Commission opened an inquiry into Mr. Musk’s aborted plan, joins a list of executives who have left Tesla recently.
It was reported on Friday that Chief People Officer Gaby Toledano would not return from a leave of absence just over a year after joining.
Late Thursday, Mr. Musk was filmed drinking whiskey, smoking marijuana and wielding a Samurai sword during a 2.5-hour live Web show with comedian Joe Rogan that swiftly spread across Instagram and other social media.
Taking a puff from a joint, which Rogan said was a blend of tobacco and marijuana and legal in California, Mr. Musk said he “almost never” smoked.
“I’m not a regular smoker of weed,” Mr. Musk said. “I don’t actually notice any effect … I don’t find that it is very good for productivity.”
It was the latest in a string of unconventional behavior by the billionaire who is also CEO of rocket startup SpaceX.
Tesla had been under scrutiny from investors, analysts and short-sellers as it works to hit production targets and slow its cash burn.
Analysts Friday reiterated their call for Tesla to bring in another senior leader as it strives to expand production and potentially raise more capital. Mr. Musk has said he expects the company could turn profitable in 2-H of this year.
Tesla’s $1.8-B junk bond maturing in August 2025 plunged as much as 4c on the dollar to below 82c, a record low, in Friday trading, pushing the yield above 8.8%.
Coupled with an upfront cost of 21% of insured value, it now costs an investor around $280,000 to insure $1-M of Tesla debt for a year.
With Tesla’s stock falling to its lowest level since April, short sellers added 810,000 shares to their positions, bringing the total as of Thursday to about 32.6-M shares.
Tesla has told investors it expects to turn a profit in 2-H of this year, a forecast the company’s head of investor relations, Martin Viecha, reiterated at a conference earlier this week sponsored by RBC Capital Markets, RBC wrote in a note Thursday.
Mr. Viecha also restated Tesla’s forecast that it will build 50,000 to 55,000 of its M3 sedans in the current Quarter, and indicated the company’s working capital will improve as production increases.
|NASDAQ:TSLA||262.6||7 September 2018||-18.35||260.1||268.35||252.25||21,609,430|
|HeffX-LTN Analysis for TSLA:||Overall||Short||Intermediate||Long|
|Bearish (-0.28)||Bearish (-0.27)||Bearish (-0.35)||Neutral (-0.22)|
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