Elon Musk has listened to the criticisms.
Though he doesn’t admit that he overlooked electric vehicle maker Tesla (TSLA) – Get a free report since deciding to buy Twitter, the flamboyant and charismatic visionary now appears to be responding to recent strong criticism from individual investors.
In the face of Tesla’s stock market rout, some of those Musk-worshipping shareholders have started calling for a shakeup or a new CEO at the helm of the company. These calls, which stemmed from their frustration, appear to have shaken Musk, who has finally decided to step down as CEO of Twitter.
The billionaire now wants to reassure these shareholders. That’s what he just did trying to show them that he’s staying true to himself. The flamboyant and charismatic entrepreneur continues to dream high for Tesla.
He just renewed an overly ambitious prediction he made a few months ago that Tesla would be the largest company in the world by market capitalization. He estimates that the Model S maker will have a higher market value than Apple (AAPL extension) – Get a free report and oil giant Saudi Aramco combined.
Tesla will be the most valuable company in the world
“Several years ago, I said that I thought it was possible that Tesla was worth more than Apple, which was the top back then [capitalization] company I think in the market at the time,” the billionaire told analysts during Tesla’s third-quarter earnings call on Oct. 19. “I said it required incredible execution. [and] at least some luck. And we didn’t even intend to achieve that goal.”
He continued: “I now have the view that we can far exceed Apple’s current market cap. In fact, I see a potential path that has us [Tesla] worth more than Apple and Saudi Aramco combined.”
“That doesn’t mean it’s going to happen or it’s going to be easy. In fact, I think it’s going to be very difficult; it’s going to be a lot of work. Some very creative new products, crazy expansion.”
“For the first time, I see a way for Tesla to be, say, about twice the value of Saudi Aramco,” Musk added. “This is the first time I’ve seen that potential.”
At the time, Apple, the world’s most valuable company, had a market value of $2.34 trillion, according to companiesmarketcap.com. Saudi Aramco, which benefited from rising oil prices, had a market value of $2.1 trillion. Together, the two largest companies in the world were worth $4.5 trillion.
Tesla had a market capitalization of over $665 billion. The EV maker had at one point passed the symbolic $1 trillion valuation mark.
More than two months later, Musk remains undeterred. He claims that Tesla will soon become the most valuable company in the world.
“I’m pretty confident that will happen; I can’t predict valuation down the road; I think Tesla could be the most valuable company within 5 years,” the tech mogul said during a conversation on Twitter Spaces on Dec. 22.
The problem is that, since its first prediction, Tesla has completely crashed on the stock market. The EV maker has a market value of $396 billion at last check, compared to $2.1 trillion for Apple and $1.82 trillion for Saudi Aramco.
No more Tesla stock sales
Musk also sent another message to shareholders. The billionaire has promised that he will not sell more Tesla shares until 2025.
“I’m not selling shares until – I don’t know – probably two years from now, definitely not next year under any circumstances, and probably not next year,” the billionaire said in response to a question from investor Ross Gerber, who has called him several times in recent days.
The problem with this promise is that Musk has made similar commitments in the past only to break them. He sold at least $30 billion worth of Tesla stock this year to fund the $44 billion takeover of Twitter. Notably, he sold about $8.5 billion of Tesla stock in April and $6.9 billion in August. In November, he sold an additional $3.95 billion of Tesla stock. His stake in Tesla has since declined and now stands at 13%, according to Bloomberg.
“No further TSLA sales are expected after today,” Musk said last April, but he ended up offloading more stock.
Even in that Twitter Spaces conversation, the billionaire dismissed the notion that he overlooked Tesla: “There isn’t a single major Tesla meeting that I’ve missed in all this time, so it’s not like I’m totally missing out on action.” .
Finally, Musk told concerned Tesla shareholders that the automaker will weather the impending economic storm, perhaps better than most companies.