Tesla (TSLA) - Get Report shares dipped nearly 1% to $229.86 Thursday after one of its biggest investors, T. Rowe Price (TROW) - Get Report , sold about 81% of its shares in the electric vehicle maker over the first three months of the year.
According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the fund manager held 1.7 million Tesla shares as of March 31, down from 8.9 million shares at the end of 2018. T. Rowe Price's stake in Tesla convertible bonds remains constant.
The fund manager is holding the smallest number of Tesla shares since 2013 after ramping up its holdings late last year. T. Rowe Price runs both actively managed and passive funds and some of the decline in holdings may have been caused by money flowing out of funds rather than reduced positions.
While T. Rowe Price has backed away from Tesla, it has continued to invest in potential competitors in the effort to develop autonomous vehicles. This includes an equity investment in General Motors' (GM) - Get Report Cruise driverless car unit.
Tesla disclosed plans to raise money through a "mixed-shelf" offering of Tesla shares and convertible senior notes. Cowen analyst Jeffrey Osborne wrote that $2.7 billion is "badly needed," but insufficient to cover capital expenditures, meet debt obligations and offset cash burn associated with lower-than-planned volume and margins on the Model 3.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk paid $25 million to buy 102,880 shares of Tesla on May 2 at an average price of $243 a share, according to a Securities and Exchange commission filing, boosting his stake to nearly 20%.
Separately, Dave Arnold's Tesla's senior director of communications, is leaving the company after 2-1/2 years, according to TechCrunch.