Tesla’s fleet of electric vehicles are known for their smooth ride; production at the company plant has been markedly choppier.
On Wednesday afternoon, the carmaker unveiled its third-quarter earnings. It posted revenue slightly higher than analyst estimates, but also an adjusted loss of $2.92 per share, 30% greater than predicted. Moreover, production bottlenecks have delayed shipments of the company’s new Model 3 vehicle, rendering it unlikely that Tesla will achieve its target delivery pace of 500,000 cars per year by the end of 2018. (Read more on that here.)
In light of that news, investors sent Tesla shares tumbling 7% through 11:15 Eastern Time on Thursday. The stock is now trading below $300 per share for the first time since May.
That decline impacted no person as much as Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO and largest individual shareholder. His net worth slumped $800 million in response to the bad news. He is now worth an estimated $19.1 billion, according to Forbes’ real-time rankings of the World’s Billionaires, and is the 23rd richest person in America. His net worth is down $1.7 billion since the annual Forbes 400ranking was published last month.
Fortunately for the South African native, his wealth is somewhat diversified. Roughly half of his fortune is tied up in Tesla shares. The bulk of the rest is comprised of his stake in rocket maker SpaceX, which raised $350 million in July at a valuation of about $21 billion. He owns approximately 50% of the business.
Musk, 46, has a long track record of entrepreneurial success. His first major exit came in 1999, when he sold software firm Zip2, which he cofounded, to Compaq for a reported price of over $300 million. He then earned an even more lucrative payout in 2002 after Paypal, which he also cofounded, was acquired by eBay for $1.4 billion.
He joined Tesla in 2004 as a major investor and took the helm in 2008. At the time, the company’s future looked dire, as credit markets were drying up during the global financial crisis and development was severely behind schedule.
Eventually, the company began churning out cars, beginning with its sleek Roadster vehicle. Even with this week’s decline, the business has been an overall colossal success. It now boasts a market capitalization of nearly $50 billion. – Written by ,