Prominent Short-Seller Gives Up on Being a Tesla Bull


(Bloomberg) -- Citron Research founder Andrew Left said he’s disappointed with the way Tesla Inc. is communicating with shareholders and isn’t long on the company’s stock.

“I am no longer long. Not short,” Left said in an email to Bloomberg. He added that he’s “disappointed with the way the company is communicating with shareholders. They have not articulated the demand vs supply issue.”

Tesla Inc.’s Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk has been in a legal dispute over how he posts news about his electric-car company. On Thursday, Musk and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission told a judge they still need more time to resolve a legal fight over his tweeting habits.

Left, who is a prominent short seller, had been betting against Tesla but changed his tune in October and said the company was “smoking” the rest of the automotive industry. That sent the shares surging. In March, Left wrote in a report that he expected Tesla’s shares to rise back to $320, roughly where they finished at the end of February. The stock has slumped more than 20 percent, losing more than $12 billion in value since the end of February.

Prominent Short-Seller Gives Up on Being a Tesla Bull

Now, Left has a difference stance: he believes Musk might have too much on his plate. And while Tesla isn’t insolvent, it needs to raise money, he said.

A Tesla representative in the U.S. didn’t immediately reply to an email query from Bloomberg.

After the company reported its first-quarter results this week, it lost another bull -- Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives -- who said the company’s guidance was aggressive and the management wasn’t doing enough to cut costs, preserve capital and provide a sustained path to profitability. Ives downgraded the stock to the equivalent of a hold from buy and slashed his share price target to $275 from $365.

"There will be a better time to buy the stock," Left said.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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