Categories
GeekWire

Tweets get Tesla’s Elon Musk in trouble again

Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s Twitter habit has sparked gyrations in the stock market. (Tesla via YouTube)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is in trouble again with the Securities and Exchange Commission, this time over a 13-word tweet.

The SEC filed a motion in federal court on Feb. 25, claiming that a tweet that Musk sent out last week violated the terms of an agreement aimed at settling a securities fraud case brought last September. After the motion came to light, Tesla’s shares lost as much as 5 percent of their $298.77 market-close value in after-hours trading. The price crept back to somewhere around its previous level overnight, however, as traders digested the news.

It’s the latest in a series of ups and downs caused by Musk’s Twitter habit.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

Categories
GeekWire

Tesla places future bets of Model Y — and China

Model Y
Tesla has teased the design of its Model Y car, but the big reveal is still ahead. (Tesla Image)

As big as the Model 3 electric car is for the future of Tesla, the sport utility vehicle known as the Model Y could be bigger, according to CEO Elon Musk.

“I would expect that the demand for the Model Y would be … maybe 50 percent higher than Model 3?” Musk said today during a teleconference reviewing the company’s fourth-quarter financial results. “Could be even double.”

Get the full story on GeekWire.

Categories
GeekWire

Elon Musk shows off Boring Company test tunnel

Boring Company tunnel
A Tesla Model X electric car with retractable wheel gear sits inside the Boring Company’s test tunnel. The company’s billionaire founder, Elon Musk, says the apparatus turns the car into a “rail-guided train.” (Elon Musk via Twitter)

The Boring Company’s hole in the ground in Hawthorne, Calif., got a Hollywood-style debut tonight courtesy of the company’s billionaire founder, Elon Musk.

Musk stood just outside a 1.14-mile-long test tunnel, illuminated in blue light, and spoke glowingly to a VIP crowd about how tunnels could turn the “soul-crushing” gridlock of urban traffic into a sci-fi experience.

“They’re sort of like wormholes,” he said. “You’re driving around, you think, ugh, I need to get to the other side of L.A., New York, whatever. Drop down the wormhole, pshew, pop out the other side and you just drive normally. I think this is, like, really a panacea.”

Tonight’s first tours served as a curtain-raiser for Musk’s Loop concept, which involves building a 3-D network of tunnels, elevators and ramps  — and then sending autonomous electric cars equipped with retractable guide wheels zipping through those tunnels at speeds of up to 150 mph.

That’s a departure from Musk’s previous idea of using custom-built “skates” to carry cars and people.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

Categories
GeekWire

Elon Musk talks up Space Force and Jeff Bezos

Elon Musk
Elon Musk speaks at a space conference in 2016. (SpaceX Photo)

Elon Musk, the billionaire CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, is really psyched about the electric pickup truck he’s got on the drawing board — and he’s also cool with the Space Force and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space effort.

Those are just a few of the talking points that emerged when he sat down for an 80-minute Q&A on Halloween, after months of cajoling from Recode alpha-geek Kara Swisher.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

Categories
GeekWire

After drama, Tesla posts ‘historic’ quarterly report

Elon Musk
Tesla CEO presides over the handover of the first Model 3 cars in August 2017. (Tesla via YouTube)

Tesla shares jumped more than 10 percent in after-hours trading today after the controversial electric-car company posted a surprisingly positive quarterly report, including a profit rather than a loss.

Adjusted net income for the third quarter amounted to $312 million, which translated into earnings of $2.90 a share. Analysts had expected a loss of around 19 cents per share.

Total revenue hit $6.8 billion, exceeding expectations of $6.3 billion. And Tesla’s cash on hand increased by $731 million, even though Tesla repaid $82.5 million in bonds during the quarter.

That cash position could take some of the pressure off Tesla, which had been burning through its reserves by the billions during what CEO Elon Musk called “production hell” for the company’s Model 3 electric car.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

Categories
GeekWire

SEC settlement buoys Tesla share prices

Tesla Model 3
Tesla has been hustling to deliver Model 3 cars at the end of its financial third quarter. (Tesla Photo)

Tesla’s share price jumped today as dramatically as it fell on Sept. 28, thanks largely to this weekend’s settlement of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s complaints against the company and its CEO, Elon Musk.

After falling 14 percent on Sept. 28, the stock rose 17 percent today, leaving the closely watched price at $310.70 at the close. That’s above the level it held during Sept. 27’s trading hours, just before the SEC announced that it was charging Musk with securities fraud.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

Categories
GeekWire

Elon Musk agrees to resign as Tesla chairman

Elon Musk
Elon Musk in Seattle in 2015. (GeekWire Photo / Taylor Soper)

By Todd Bishop and Alan Boyle

Elon Musk has agreed to step down as Tesla’s chairman for three years but will remain CEO of the electric car maker, under the terms of documents filed today to settle a securities fraud case brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Musk will also pay a $20 million penalty to settle charges sparked by his Aug. 7 tweets about a plan to take Tesla private. Tesla will pay an additional $20 million, the SEC said in a news release.

In addition, Tesla agreed to appoint two new independent directors to its board, establish a new committee of independent directors and implement procedures to oversee Musk’s communications via Twitter and other avenues.

Neither Musk nor Tesla admitted wrongdoing as part of the agreement, according to court papers. But Musk will be required to comply with Tesla’s new procedures for social-media posts, updates on the company’s website and blog, and statements made in news releases or during investor calls.

Tesla would have to give “pre-approval of any such written communications that contain, or reasonably could contain, information material to the company or its shareholders,” according to court documents.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

Categories
GeekWire

Elon Musk calls SEC charges ‘unjustified’

Tesla CEO Elon Musk says he’s “deeply saddened” by the claims against him. (Tesla via YouTube)

Update: Elon Musk and Tesla settle with SEC.

Tesla’s billionaire CEO and chairman, Elon Musk, is calling the Securities and Exchange Commission’s fraud claims against him “unjustified” after reportedly passing up a settlement deal that would have temporarily forced him from a leadership post.

“This unjustified action by the SEC leaves me deeply saddened and disappointed,” Musk said in a statement distributed Sept. 27 after the SEC filed its civil complaint. “I have always taken action in the best interests of truth, transparency and investors. Integrity is the most important value in my life and the facts will show I never compromised this in any way.”

Get the full story on GeekWire.

Categories
GeekWire

SEC charges Tesla’s Elon Musk with securities fraud

Elon Musk
Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks to shareholders in June. (Tesla via YouTube)

Update: Elon Musk and Tesla settle with SEC.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Tesla’s billionaire CEO and chairman, Elon Musk, with securities fraud over a series of controversial tweets focusing on the electric-car company’s future financial status.

If the SEC is fully successful in arguing its claims, Musk could be barred from serving as an officer or director of Tesla or any other publicly traded company.

The complaint in federal court focuses on what the SEC calls “false and misleading tweets” about a potential transaction to buy up Tesla’s publicly traded shares at a premium price of $420 and take the company private.

“Funding secured,” Musk said in Aug. 7’s most controversial tweet.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

Categories
GeekWire

Tesla stock declines after report of criminal probe

Image: Elon Musk
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk talks about the Model 3 during its 2016 unveiling. (Credit: Tesla)

Tesla shares fell by as much as 6.5 percent today after Bloomberg News reported that the electric-car company was the subject of a criminal investigation by the Justice Department, focusing on CEO Elon Musk’s claims that he had secured the funding to take Tesla private.

The “funding secured” comment, posted on Twitter on Aug. 7, has also sparked increased scrutiny for civil action by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Get the full story on GeekWire.