Tesla CEO Elon Musk could be bored, forgetful, strategizing or any number of possibilities.
“Forgetful” is not the likely winner this, time, though, in the wake of a deleted tweet that Musk posted on Friday morning: “I think there is a >0% chance Tesla could be the biggest company” and added, “probably within a few months” in replies to followers.
“Bored” is an outside possibility, given his seeming enjoyment of the spotlight, but “strategizing” is the most likely among the three.
Musk knows that stock manipulation is not acceptable, having butted heads with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in recent years over his Twitter activity.
Musk’s “within a few months” tweet has since been deleted – it was not clear whether the SEC ordered it or Musk deleted it himself — but screenshots were widely shared on Twitter.
Tesla’s $584 billion market value was about 30% of Apple’s $2.01 trillion at Friday’s prices, and, though the two companies are really competitors, Apple signaled an interest in developing electric vehicles in the coming years.
So that probably doesn’t sit well with Musk, who, in 2018, found trouble when he tweeted his plan to take Tesla private at $420 a share and had secured funding to do so.
Tesla’s stock price jumped 6% that day, but the SEC forced Musk and Tesla into a settlement agreement, with the CEO individually and company each paying a $20 million fine, among other terms.
Musk’s impact on the stock market via Twitter is well documented. Last year, he tweeted “Tesla stock is too high imo,” and the stock dropped 10%.
He also aided the GameStop controversy, as well as tweeting his fascination with bitcoin and dogecoin.
Tesla shares traded at $610 as of midday Monday, having begun the month at more than $700.