Fidelity Funds Sold About 1 Million Tesla Shares in March

(Bloomberg) -- Fidelity Investments mutual funds sold more than 1 million shares of Tesla Inc. in March, according to reports on the firm’s website.

Fidelity mutual funds sold a net of about 1.4 million shares of the electric carmaker, cutting their combined stake by more than 20 percent. The sales left the funds holding a total of about 5.24 million Tesla shares at the end of March, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Tesla, led by Elon Musk, had a first quarter marred by a shifting retail strategy, several pricing changes to its electric cars and a drop in deliveries. Tesla reported a wider than expected loss when it posted earnings April 24. The company also announced a major shake up of its board.

Shares of the Palo Alto, California-based company fell 1.9 percent to $234.20 at 3:50 p.m. in New York on Wednesday. They have slid 28 percent this year through April 30.

The largest sellers of the stock included the Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund, run by Sonu Kalra, which divested 406,600 Tesla shares, cutting its stake to 1.01 million shares as of March 29, according to the data compiled from the fund group’s website. The Fidelity Contrafund, managed by Will Danoff, sold 172,006 shares in March, leaving it with about 263,025 shares at month’s end. And Fidelity OTC Portfolio Fund, overseen by Christopher Lin, sold 393,800 shares, equaling almost its entire stake.

A spokesman for Boston-based Fidelity declined to comment.

The Fidelity funds have been steadily reducing their stake in Tesla since the end of 2016, when they reported owning a combined 22 million common shares, the equivalent of a 13.7 percent stake, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

FMR, the parent for Fidelity Investments, reported holding about 9.1 million Tesla shares on a company-wide basis at the end of last year, ranking it as the carmaker’s third-largest investor with a 5.2 percent stake. FMR’s holdings don’t include those of several affiliates who report their stock ownership separately, according to its filings.

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