Wall Street Reacts To Musk’s Dramatic Flip-Flop

Posted On August 27, 2018 11:18 am

As we said last night, three weeks after Musk’s stunning “going private” announcement, the soap opera is finally over.

On Friday night the “funding secured” tragicomedy came to a halt after Musk announced the company would remain public after all following discussions with investors. And while shares initially tumbled as much as 5%, they pared earlier losses to almost unchanged amid an algo ramp, but have again reversed and may extend declines as investors try to sort out the confusion.

Below, courtesy of Bloomberg, are the hot takes of some of the company’s most notable sellside analysts.

Cowen, Jeffrey Osborne (Underperform, price target $200)

  • “The key question is whether investors will continue to support a CEO who may potentially be involved in market manipulation and/or securities fraud as well as a company under SEC investigation.”
  • “We see mounting obstacles for the company, notably shareholder lawsuits, SEC investigation, cash burn, competitive environment and spotty profits.”
  • “While investors in the past may have been willing to invest in the compelling story of saving the world provided by a visionary CEO, the recent episodes and his new focus on profitably lead us to believe that the stock is likely to begin to reflect the financial realities that the price has long been divorced from should it be unable to reach profitability in 2H18 as we are currently modeling.”

Jefferies, Philippe Houchois (Hold, price target $360)

  • “The only tangible results so far from that episode seem to be an SEC investigation, lawsuits and more damage to the standing of management and board.”
  • “Shares may be hit today as a result of more erratic corporate behavior at Tesla, However, we wonder if the ‘going private’ tweet has effectively put Tesla in play and may lead to additional discussions with other investors, mainly corporates, that value Tesla’s vision and can help bridge gaps in growth and execution skills.”
  • “Tesla needs new capital to fund midterm growth or risk a de-rating of its valuation multiples.”


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