Feb 14, 2020 - Economy & Business

Tesla raises more than $2 billion in secondary stock offering

An illustration of Elon Musk next to a bull.

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Jörg Carstensen/picture alliance via Getty Images

Tesla raised $2.03 billion in a secondary stock offering, pricing at $767 per share. That's a 4.6% discount to yesterday's closing price, and an 86.2% premium to where CEO Elon Musk infamously tweeted that he had "funding secured."

Why it matters: Momentum floats apparently are a thing now, as this comes just two weeks after Musk said on an earnings call that "it doesn’t make sense to raise money because we expect to generate cash."

The backdrop: This time last year, Tesla was struggling with cashflow issues and suffering waves of layoffs. And, investors weren't particularly happy with its reluctance to spend money.

  • Tesla bulls (who, after all, represent the overwhelming majority of the company's only shareholders) saw a fast-growing technology company investing heavily in new automobiles, factories and batteries. In other words, they saw a company with significant opportunities to turn fresh cash into future profits, and they wanted CEO Elon Musk to grasp those opportunities.
  • The bull case for Tesla is explicitly predicated on the company raising billions of dollars in fresh equity capital.

The bottom line: "Tesla stock has been in Ludicrous Mode. Given its bonkers gyrations, it's now easy to see why Musk might feel that he was right all along in wanting to take the company private back in 2018, writes Axios' Felix Salmon.

  • The recent surge in Tesla's share price can be viewed as the stock market positively begging Musk to raise fresh cash while it's incredibly cheap. While he claims not to need the money, investors are sure that he'll find something worthwhile to do with it.
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