Is Elon Musk a Twit Who’ll Drive Tesla’s Stock Into a Ditch?

Well the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

There I was, minding my own business and tooling around the interwebs, when I came across this Reuters piece by Lauren Silva Laughlin and Gina Chon.

Elon Musk probably won’t buy Twitter

NEW YORK, April 27 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Four years ago, Elon Musk vowed to set up a peanut brittle company to take on Warren Buffett’s iconic U.S. confectioner See’s Candies. Then he changed his mind. It wouldn’t be surprising if Musk’s $44 billion deal to buy social network Twitter went the same way.

Sure, the Tesla boss was clearly serious about acquiring Twitter as of recently. The financing from Morgan Stanley is shored up. The agreement includes a fee of $1 billion that he – or Twitter – would have to pay if they renege on the contract. And Twitter’s lawyers even wedged in a so-called “specific performance” clause, which could theoretically force Musk to buy the company if he threatens to back out, though in practice this could probably be settled by adding to the break fee.

There are good reasons for him to get cold feet . . .

What do you think, Doc – could Elon have actually musked this up?

– ElonGate

Dear ElonGate,

Let’s check in with Felix Salmon at Axios Capital, who ties Musk’s Twitter bid to his Tesla stock.

Tesla’s stock could fall much further

The recent decline in Tesla stock, possibly caused by worries about Musk’s successful bid for Twitter, has raised concerns that he barely has the liquidity to raise the $21 billion he needs to provide in cash to pay for his new platform.

By the numbers: If you exclude stock that Musk has pledged to secure loans, the value of his freely-sellable Tesla shares is only about $11 billion. In order to find the extra $10 billion, he might have to exercise some of his stock options. That’s expensive, since he’d need to pay income tax, rather than lower long-term capital gains tax, on such sales.

  • What goes down can go down much further: Tesla stock is about 33% below its all-time high. Yet Facebook has performed much worse than that, while rival electric carmaker Rivian is down more than 80%.

A continued decline in Tesla shares could cause margin calls and a lot of forced selling by Musk, which in turn would tend to drive the stock lower still.

The Doc’s diagnosis: Elon definitely might musk everything up.

Your tweet goes here.

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