Tesla’s Elon Musk tweets he is ‘considering’ taking company private


Tesla Inc. shares jumped as much as 8% midday Tuesday after Chief Executive Elon Musk tweeted that he was “considering” taking the Silicon Valley car maker private at $420 a share.

“Funding secured,” the tweet continued, garnering calls to “dewit” and love yous from Musk supporters on Twitter. The tweet recently had more than 14,000 likes and more than 3,000 retweets.

The price would represent 16% upside from Tesla’s TSLA, +6.72%  price on Tuesday.

He appeared to be doubling down on the “420,” which in certain circles is a coded word meaning marijuana.

Later he tweeted to say he “won’t be selling.”

Musk in April tweeted a joke that Tesla had gone bankrupt amid the company’s worst month in seven years. The stock fell 5% the following day.

Tesla shares were recently up 5%, and earlier on Tuesday had gotten a boost from news that Saudi Arabia’s sovereign-wealth fund has taken a significant stake in the company.

Tesla last week reported mixed second-quarter results, but the stock has rallied as Wall Street seized on the company’s renewed promises of profitability for the second half of the year and on Musk’s demeanor during a post-results conference call with analysts.

“Market perception of Elon Musk appears to have improved significantly from the lows following the previous conference call and recent social media activity,” analysts at Morgan Stanley wrote in a note Tuesday. “We can’t put a value on this, but it’s clearly important. The apologies and self-awareness expressed on the call triggered an immediate positive market reaction.”

Investors had called for a Twitter “sabbatical” for Musk after the CEO last month called a diver involved in the Thai cave rescue of a youth soccer team a “pedo.” Musk later apologized to the man and to the companies he leads.

Tesla’s revenue growth number, however, was artificially inflated by its adoption of a new revenue recognition rule for the second quarter that it compared with a revenue number calculated under the old rule, as MarketWatch’s Francine McKenna has reported.

Tesla shares have gained 16% this year, compared with gains around 7% for the S&P 500 SPX, +0.41%  and 4% for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. DJIA, +0.62%