With Tesla a favorite among shorts, even if they are down about $2 billion on paper in recent days, Musk took to Twitter over the weekend to troll them. In a tweet, the executive posted a doctored scene from the 2004 German-language movie “Downfall" about Adolf Hitler's final days. In Musk’ version, Hitler is a worried fund manager who has landed on the wrong side of a Tesla bet. “If Tesla doesn’t go bankrupt soon, I’ll lose everything,” rants an angry Hitler says in the English-language subtitles, first spotted by MarketWatch. The film's bunker scene has been oft-parodied on the internet, with other jokesters adding subtitles on all manner of topics. In the climactic scene, an unhinged Hitler screams at his generals as Allied forces close in on his Berlin bunker. (See more: Tesla Shorts Lose $1.1B As Stock Spikes on Earnings.)
Musk Trolls Shorts
That trolling may not sit well with shorts who are down billions of dollars since Tesla was able to post earnings last week that showed it was burning through its cash at less of a rate than Wall Street had anticipated. It resulted in a 16% jump in the stock last Thursday and $1.7 billion in mark-to-market losses for shorts that day of trading. (See also: Elon Musk Has a New Project: A Tesla Mini Car.)
Late Wednesday, Tesla reported its biggest quarterly loss since its inception, losing more than $717.5 million, and said it burned through $430 million in cash. The burn rate was less than expected, which sent shares of Tesla surging. The company, which hit its production target of making 5,000 Model 3 cars a week at the end of June said it is aiming to ramp up to 10,000 Model 3 units per week. During the third quarter, it expects to lift production to between 50,000 and 55,000 Model 3 units.
Shorts Still Sticking With Their Bet
Despite the surge in shares of Tesla, shorts aren’t giving up on their bets. Tesla still remains a favorite among them. In the first day of trading after Tesla reported second-quarter results, it was still the most shorted stock in the U.S., reported The Wall Street Journal, citing data from S3 Partners, the financial analytics company.
Ihor Dusaniwsky, head of predictive analytics at S3 Partners, told the paper there weren’t many buys or orders placed to buy to exit existing short positions in Tesla. What’s more, he said he thinks shorts will shrug off the mark-to-market losses they suffered. After all, longer-term shorts have accumulated billions of dollars in losses on Tesla in the past, which has prompted them to expand their short positions, not exit them.
“The ones who’ve lost billions of dollars, they’re going to take it on the chin,” said Dusaniwsky, noting Tesla has long been a favorite of shorts in the U.S. “No matter what is going on with the price and with earnings and car production, the major long-term short sellers are holding onto their short positions.”