Tesla Inc's (TSLA) burning money, but shareholders are the likely ones to blister and feel the pain.
The company's shares have risen 45% in the roughly three months since last selling stock to the public, and that should make recent entrants into the shares as they move toward $400 very nervous.
The standard 90-day corporate equity lockup period for Tesla, following its $402.5 million stock sale of March 16, ends Thursday. As a result, Tesla will be free to conduct another stock offering as soon as Thursday, which is a real possibility given the electric car company's debt situation, partly due to its Solar City investment, and need for additional cash. Any new issuance the company may seek would likely need to take place before July, which is when Tesla issues its quarterly report on car sales. Alternatively, an offering could come in late August after Tesla issues its quarterly financial report.
Any new issuance the company may seek would likely need to take place before July, which is when Tesla issues its quarterly report on car sales. Alternatively, an offering could come in late August after Tesla issues its quarterly financial report.
One investor, who is short Tesla's shares, suggested that he believed the issuance this time around will be for a much larger amount than the most recent $402.5 million 1.54 million share offering, based on the company's financial needs for the coming months. A large follow up secondary offering would dilute Tesla's shares and likely lead to a drop in its share price.
In March, Tesla sold 1.54 million common shares at $262, raising a total of $402.5 million.
The stock has risen 45.2% since that offering, compared to a slightly less than 2% gain for the S&P 500.
Tesla sold the stock under an agreement with the SEC known as a "shelf registration," allowing it to sell an aggregate amount of stock in chunks and over time without having to register separately for each sale.
Tesla has a hefty cash burn rate and the company is ramping up to meet aggressive production and delivery rates for its upcoming Model 3, probably needs to raise money soon, and likely much more than it did in its last share sale.
Furthermore, data from FactSet show that much of the interest in the stock comes from retail investors buying both shares and options to buy shares, putting those investors at much risk.
Tesla shares were up 1.3% to $380.65 at Wednesday's close.
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