Tesla CEO Elon Musk is at it again on Twitter, this time with a comment he made about the electric car company’s stock price being too high.
On Friday, Musk tweeted: “Tesla stock price is too high [in my opinion].” Opinion or not, Tesla’s stock price plummeted following the tweet, which came a minute after Musk said he would sell almost all his physical possessions and own no house in a separate tweet.
Tesla stock price is too high imo— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 1, 2020
Musk is no stranger to using Twitter to ruffle the feathers of investors or mock the Securities and Exchange Commission. In 2018, he and Tesla reached a settlement with the SEC for his “false and misleading statements” regarding his tweet that he was “considering taking Tesla private at $420” and that he had secured funding. “In truth and in fact, Musk had not even discussed, much less confirmed, key deal terms, including price, with any potential funding source,” the SEC said.
Following weeks of negotiations, Musk and Tesla reached a settlement with the SEC over those allegations, including ousting Musk as chairman of Tesla’s board for three years, putting safeguards to keep his public-facing commentary in check, and slapping both Musk and Tesla with a $20 million fine. Under the settlement, Tesla also agreed to demonstrate greater scrutiny of all public-facing communications, including, but not limited to, Musk’s posts on social media, the company’s Website, press releases, and investor calls. The settlement additionally demanded “pre-approval of any such written communications that contain, or reasonably could contain, information material to the company or its shareholders.”
Musk, however, seems to enjoy testing the SEC’s patience. In February 2019, he continued to egg the agency on by tweeting that Tesla “will make around 500k” cars in 2019, which the SEC said was material information and “a blatant violation” of the court’s order. It is also unclear whether Tesla has a new general counsel yet, after its last one left in December—its third general counsel in a year.
Whether and/or how the SEC will respond to Musk’s latest musing is yet to be seen, especially when the staff has more pressing matters, like a pandemic, to be concerned about. At press time, neither the SEC nor Tesla had returned requests for comment in response to the tweets.