Investing in Tesla Stock (TSLA)

What you need to know when investing in Tesla Inc.

Tesla Inc. (TSLA), the world's largest automaker by market value, designs, builds, and markets fully electric vehicles (EV) and energy generation and storage systems. The company also provides services through vehicle service centers, body shops, and charging stations. Tesla makes and sells mid-size sedans, full-size sedans, and compact and mid-size sports utility vehicles.

Tesla was founded in 2003 as Tesla Motors by Martin Eberhard, J.B. Straubel, Marc Tarpenning, Ian Wright, and Elon Musk. The company was originally founded as a maker of electric vehicles and related components and has subsequently expanded to include energy generation and storage products. Tesla went public in an initial public offering (IPO) on June 29, 2010.

The company said at its 2021 shareholders meeting that Tesla will move its headquarters to Austin, Texas from its longtime home in Palo Alto, Calif. Musk is Tesla's chief executive officer (CEO). The company is classified as a member of the consumer discretionary sector operating primarily in the automotive industry. Tesla's main rivals include established automakers such as Ford Motor Co. (F) and General Motors Co. (GM), as well as newer, fast-growing electric vehicle makers like China-based NIO Inc. (NIO). In FY 2020, ended Dec. 31, 2020, Tesla posted net income of $862 million on total revenues of $31.5 billion. As of Oct. 9, 2021, Tesla was as big as the next five biggest automakers combined, by market capitalization.

Key Takeaways

  • Tesla designs, builds, and sells electric vehicles, as well as energy generation and storage systems.
  • Tesla's rivals include major automakers such as Ford Motor Co. (F) and General Motors Co. (GM), as well as rising electric vehicle makers like NIO Inc. (NIO).
  • In FY 2020, ended Dec. 31, 2020, Tesla posted net income of $862 million on total revenues of $31.5 billion.
  • On Oct. 7, 2021, a California jury ordered Tesla to pay about $137 million to a former employee who was the target of racial abuse while at the company.

Tesla's Recent Developments

  • On Oct. 7, 2021 , Musk announced at Tesla's annual shareholder meeting that the company will move its headquarters to Austin, Texas, where a new Tesla car plant is located. Tesla will continue to have major auto manufacturing operations in California, and plans to increase volume at its Fremont facility by 50%.
  • On Oct. 7, 2021, a jury in California ordered Tesla to pay approximately $137 million to Owen Diaz, a former employee who was subjected to racial abuse while he worked as an elevator operator at Tesla's factory in Fremont, California.
  • On Oct. 2, 2021, Tesla announced that it delivered a record 241,300 vehicles in Q3 2021, a dramatic year-over-year (YOY) increase.

What's Happening With Tesla's Recalls?

Tesla has issued multiple vehicle recalls in recent months. On May 25, 2021, the company recalled nearly 6,000 Model 3 sedans due to potential problems with brake caliper bolts and more than 5,500 of its Model 3 and Model Y cars due to a faulty seat belt fastener. On June 26, 2021, Tesla issued a recall of more than 285,000 vehicles in China due to an issue related to the cars’ cruise control potential unexpected speed increases. While Chinese regulators called it a recall, they said the problem could be fixed remotely with a software update instead of customers taking their vehicles to a dealer.

What's Happening With Tesla's Cybertruck?

On Aug. 7, 2021, Tesla announced that its electric pickup truck, the Cybertruck, will not be released until 2022, after initially being scheduled to come out in late 2021. The truck has been hampered by design issues, and also by supply chain challenges related to the pandemic.

What's Happening With Tesla and Bitcoin?

On May 12, 2021, Musk announced on Twitter that Tesla would stop accepting Bitcoin payments for its vehicles, citing concerns over "rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels" for Bitcoin mining and transactions. On June 13, 2021, Musk tweeted that Tesla would again accept Bitcoin when approximately 50% of its mining is done with clean energy. On July 21, 2021, Musk gave more detail at a conference regarding when Tesla will accept Bitcoin. The CEO said the company would "most likely" resume accepting Bitcoin, pending due diligence to confirm that the percentage of renewable energy used to make Bitcoins is "at or above 50%," and on an upward trend.

What's Happening With Tesla's Car Radar?

In May 2021, Tesla announced that it would no longer include radar sensors on its Model 3 and Model Y cars manufactured for sale in North America. The decision caused Consumer Reports to pull its “Top Safety Pick+” designation from the Model 3, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said that the radar-less vehicles will no longer get a check mark for a number of categories, including dynamic brake support. Consumer Reports and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) restored their highest safety endorsements for Tesla Model 3s on June 29.

What's Happening With Elon Musk and the SEC?

In Sept. 2018, Tesla and CEO Musk settled a securities fraud charge brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. As part of the settlement, Musk stepped down as chairman of the board and the company agreed to corporate governance reforms, other reforms, and financial penalties paid by both Musk and the company totaling $40 million. The SEC had alleged that a Twitter post by Musk stating possible plans to take Tesla private "lacked an adequate basis in fact." The SEC also charged Tesla with "failing to have required disclosure controls and procedures relating to Musk’s tweets." On June 1, 2021, The Wall Street Journal reported that Musk had twice violated a court order requiring that all his tweets be pre-approved by Tesla lawyers.

What's Happening With the Tesla Shareholder Lawsuit About Solarcity?

On July 12–13, 2021, Musk testified in a lawsuit brought by Tesla shareholders. The plaintiffs alleged that he used Tesla's 2016 acquisition of SolarCity to bail out SolarCity when he was the chair of both companies’ boards. An Oct. 1, 2021 court filing by Tesla investors argues that Musk should return the Tesla shares he received for his SolarCity stock, currently valued at about $9.4 billion. The trial judge has scheduled post-trial arguments for January 2022, and a decision is expected to come several months later.


Has TSLA ever split its stock?

Tesla has split its stock once:

  • Aug. 28, 2020: a 5-for-1 split of common shares.

Does TSLA pay a dividend?

No, it does not pay a dividend.

How many shares of TSLA stock are there?

As of July 22, 2021, Tesla’s stock had 990,015,158 shares outstanding.

Who Is Tesla's CEO?

Tesla's CEO is Elon Musk. Musk co-founded the company and made significant early investments. Under his leadership, the company has grown from a money-losing startup into a profitable, large automaker and a global leader in electric vehicles. He was chairman of the company's board until the SEC forced him to give up the title in 2018. Musk became CEO in Oct. 2008.

What Position Does Elon Musk Hold at Tesla?

In addition to the title of chief executive officer, Elon Musk was given the title of "Technoking of Tesla" as of the company's March 15, 2021 10-Q.

Who Are Tesla's Top Shareholders?

As of Dec. 15, 2020, Tesla's top individual insider shareholders are Kimbal Musk, Zachary Kirkhorn, and Jerome M. Guillen, and its top institutional shareholders are Elon Musk, Susquehanna Securities, and Capital World Investors.

Article Sources

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  11. Tesla Inc. "Tesla Q3 Production and Delivery Figures." Accessed Oct. 10, 2021.

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  13. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “2019 TESLA MODEL 3 — May 25, 2021, NHTSA CAMPAIGN NUMBER: 21V387000 Loose Brake Caliper Bolts.” Accessed Oct. 10, 2021.

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  20. Consumer Reports. "Tesla Model 3 Regains CR Top Pick Status and IIHS Safety Award." Accessed Oct. 10, 2021.

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