Tesla Motors Inc. logo is displayed at the Tesla Motors Inc. booth at the Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies (CEATEC) in Chiba, Japan (Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg)

T. Rowe Cut Tesla Stake by Almost Half During Fourth Quarter

(Bloomberg) -- T. Rowe Price Group Inc. sold almost half of its stake in Tesla Inc. during the fourth quarter, according to a regulatory filing.

The Baltimore-based money manager held 8.98 million Tesla shares, equaling 5.2 percent of the electric-car maker’s common stock outstanding at the end of December, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund group reported in a prior filing that it held a 10.2 percent stake, comprised of 17.4 million shares, as of Sept. 30.

Tesla shares rose almost 26 percent during the fourth quarter. A spokesman at T. Rowe Price declined to comment.

The carmaker led by Elon Musk has gotten off to a bumpy start in 2019. Tesla cut prices across the lineup in early January to partially offset the halving of federal tax credits that its vehicles are now eligible for in the U.S. Weeks later, the chief executive officer announced he would dismiss 7 percent of employees to cut costs and make its electric cars affordable enough for the mass market. The company has also has reduced production of pricier Model S sedans and Model X crossovers.

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