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Expand chart
Data: Money.net; Chart: Axios Visuals

Tesla has been among the most derided companies in the world, but CEO Elon Musk has been getting revenge against hated short sellers since the electric car company's June swoon.

Why it matters: Many probably wish Musk had taken the company private at $420 a share, as he said he would in an August 2018 tweet in which he claimed to have "funding secured" for the move.

By the numbers: Short sellers who have bet against Tesla's stock price surrendered a total of $2.89 billion in net-of-financing mark-to-market losses in 2019, and have almost matched that total in less than two weeks of trading in 2020, according to data from S3 Partners.

  • Short sellers are down $2.80 billion in mark-to-market losses, including $1.25 billion in losses on Monday’s 9.77% price move.

Where it stands: Short sellers have largely tapped out as the company's stock has rocketed higher, but some are holding tight.

  • Tesla short interest is $12.79 billion with 26.74 million shares shorted, totaling 20% of its float. It remains the second-largest short in the domestic market behind Apple, S3 said.

What happened: Wall Street has gotten very bullish on Tesla in recent months, pushing the stock's price from $400 to over $500 in less than a month and valuing the company at close to $95 billion.

Between the lines: Musk has 1 billion reasons to keep his foot on the gas pedal.

  • He is now within striking distance of the performance-based stock grants he negotiated in his 2018 compensation package that would award him 1% of the company's stock if it reaches a $100 billion valuation, paying him $1 billion.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

52 mins ago - Health

India crosses 1 billion COVID vaccinations milestone

A health worker inoculates a COVID-19 vaccine dose to a man wearing face mask of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Beawar, India, in September. Photo: Sumit Saraswat/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Thursday that the country's health workers have now administered more than 1 billion COVID-19 vaccines doses.

Of note: While this is a significant milestone for the country of 1.4 billion, which has been devastated by the coronavirus, only about 30% of the eligible population has been fully vaccinated against the virus, per AP. Roughly 75% has received at least one dose.

Trump says he plans to launch new social media network in 2022

Photo: Chris Delmas/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Trump on Wednesday announced plans to launch a social media network called "Truth Social," and that it would go public via a SPAC.

Why it matters: Most ex-presidents are focused on their legacies, by creating presidential libraries or engaging in philanthropic endeavors. Trump, however, remains consumed by social media.

Beauty giant Coty Cosmetics looking to sell its own branded products

Coty Cosmetics CEO Sue Nabi. Photo: Axios on HBO

Coty Cosmetics CEO Sue Nabi tells Axios the beauty giant will “probably” introduce Coty-branded products one day.

Why it matters: Coty produces some of the world’s most popular fragrances, skin care products and color cosmetics on behalf of other well-known brands, but has shied away from producing its own branded products.