Tesla CEO Elon Musk presented the first batch of made-in-China cars to ordinary buyers on January 7, 2020 in a milestone for the company’s new Shanghai “giga-factory”, but which comes as sales decelerate in the world’s largest electric-vehicle market.
The Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund dumped nearly all the shares of Tesla that it owns in the fourth quarter of last year, missing out on a big windfall, a new filing Tuesday revealed.
The fund now holds just about 39,000 shares of the stock after selling 99.5% of its holding last year, according to InsiderScore.com and public filings. The fund held more than 8.2 million shares by the end of the third quarter of 2019, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Those shares would be worth more than $7 billion at Tuesday’s Tesla price.
The selling by the end of fourth quarter means the fund missed out on Tesla’s massive rally in the new year. Shares of the electric carmaker soared 20% to above $900 on Tuesday, bringing its 2020 gains to more than 110%.
Before the latest sale, the sovereign wealth fund had dramatically cut its net exposure to Tesla stock in early 2019 after CEO Elon Musk settled fraud charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission over the claim to take his company private.
Tesla’s epic run recently has been fueled by analysts raising price targets to catch up to the stock and short-covering by investors betting against the shares. Musk’s Tesla has more investors betting against the company than any other U.S. stock, according to S3. Short sellers have lost more than $8 billion since the beginning of the year, S3 said.
The company’s rapid rally has pushed its market capitalization above $160 billion, which tops Netflix’s $157 billion market cap.
Investors turned more bullish after the company reported deliveries of 112,000 vehicles globally during the fourth quarter, a personal best for Tesla. That number significantly topped Wall Street estimates, and hit the low end of Musk’s year-end sales goal.
(Correction: Story gave an incorrect amount of shares sold by the Saudi fund.)