Tesla shares plunged after CEO Elon Musk said the electric-car maker’s stock is too high in a stream of tweets reminiscent of the posts that securities regulators sued over in 2018.
The billionaire said in a separate post that he’s selling “almost all” of his physical possessions and won’t own a house. He also renewed his call for reopening the economy and then recited parts of the “Star Spangled Banner.”
Tesla shares plunged as much as 13% as of noon Friday in New York trading. The stock is still up about 65% for the year, an advance that’s put him in position to meet the final performance threshold needed to be awarded stock options that would yield him a windfall of about $730 million.
Musk, 48, didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking further comment. He joked about Tesla’s stock being “so high” in December, and has said in the past the company has a higher market capitalization than it deserves.
Musk settled a securities-fraud lawsuit the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission brought in 2018 over his tweets claiming that he had the funding to take Tesla private. The two sides carried on their dispute into last year, when they amended an earlier agreement to add specific topics that Musk isn’t supposed to tweet about without advance approval from a Tesla lawyer.
The topics subject to the agreement include the company’s financial condition, potential mergers or acquisitions, production and sales numbers, new or proposed business lines, projections and forecasts that haven’t been previously published, and Musk’s purchase or sale of Tesla securities.
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