Sep 28, 2018

What they're saying: Analysts sound off on Musk lawsuit

Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Wall Street analysts are reacting negatively to the Securities and Exchange Commission's fraud lawsuit against Tesla CEO Elon Musk, which sent the automaker's stock sharply lower.

Why it matters: In the past year, Elon Musk has evolved from one of Tesla's biggest assets to one of its biggest risks.

What analysts are saying:

  • Brian Johnson, Barclays: "While Tesla may still have value as a niche automaker, the premium the shareholders have been willing to pay for future founder-driven business optionality is likely to dissipate."
  • Romit Shah, Nomura Instinet (who recently called Tesla "uninvestable"): "We believe that the removal of Mr. Musk as Chairman and CEO could have wide ranging impacts on the company, its brand, and its ability to raise funds."
  • Colin Langan, UBS: "Regardless of the outcome of the lawsuit, we continue to estimate Tesla will need to raise capital in 2019. Technically, Tesla could still raise capital despite the lawsuit against Musk; however, it may be more challenging if investors are concerned about Musk’s ongoing role at the company... Without Musk, investors may no longer be willing to continue funding a company that has never reported an annual profit."
  • David Whiston, Morningstar Research: "We see immense key-man risk for the stock, as Tesla's fate is closely linked to Musk's actions. Should he leave the company, we would not be surprised to see the stock fall dramatically."

Go deeper: Elon Musk throws a Tesla tantrum by refusing to settle

Go deeper

Kenan Thompson and Hasan Minhaj to headline White House Correspondents' Dinner

Kenan Thompson on "SNL" in 2018. Photo: Rosalind O'Connor/NBC via Getty Images

Kenan Thompson, the longest-tenured "Saturday Night Live" cast member, will host the White House Correspondents' Association dinner on April 25.

And Hasan Minhaj — host of Netflix’s "Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj," and the entertainer at the 2017 dinner — will return as featured entertainer.

"Billions": Season 2020

Mike Bloomberg speaks at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery in Richmond, Va., on Saturday. Photo: James H. Wallace/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP

Money alone can’t buy a presidential election, but it surely gets you VIP access.

Why it matters: Billionaire Michael Bloomberg is duking it out with Billionaire Donald Trump, often on Billionaire Jack Dorsey’s Twitter and in ads on Billionaire Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook, all chronicled in Billionaire Jeff Bezos’ Washington Post. 

Biometrics invade banking and retail

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Banks have been quietly rolling out biometrics to identify customers — verifying them by their fingerprint, voice or eye scan — and retailers like Amazon are getting into the game.

Why it matters: These companies are amassing giant databases of our most personal information — including our gait, how we hold our cellphones, our typing patterns — that raise knotty questions about data security and privacy.