While they already had their hands full killing mayonnaise, Applebee’s, and countless other industries that make up the cornerstone of American culture, in these past weeks millennials were proving themselves to be excellent multitaskers by putting their money into another, far more surprising basket - they appear to be set on saving Tesla.
It’s been a remarkably hard year for Tesla, with a massive wave of executive departures, a misguided venture to privatize, relentless bad press and multiple negative social media posts surrounding Elon Musk. Just this month, Tesla shares plummeted a further 10 percent after the electric car company announced that its chief accountant Dave Morton and head of communications Sarah O'Brien would be cutting ties with Tesla. At the same time, human resources chief Gaby Toledano revealed that she would be extending her leave of absence. As if this weren’t grim enough, Tesla's vice president of worldwide finance and operations Justin McAnear is also leaving the company, making it a total of 10 key directors that have left the company within the last 12 months.
The impetus for Tesla’s swift summertime downfall was a direct announcement from Elon Musk’s account on August 7th, stating that he would be taking the company private and that he had already secured the funding. An SEC subpoena and high-decibel outcry from investors both for and against the company were soon to follow. In the end, Tesla shares lost a whopping 19 percent in a month following the tweet and are down a total of 9 percent for the year.
Despite the bad press, bad blood, and disappointing numbers, millennial investors have stayed loyal to Elon Musk and Tesla, to the surprise of nearly everyone who reads the news. This is all according to data collected by no-fee brokerage Robinhood, which just so happens to be popular among these younger traders. On Robinhood’s platform, Tesla was, amazingly, the second most bought stock in the past week. 11,316 investors purchased shares, which marks a striking 13 percent uptick from the previous week. Thanks to all this movement, Tesla has now secured its position as the 14th most popular stock on the entire Robinhood brokerage.
This is all the more surprising when you consider the fact that just a few months ago in June, the buzz around Tesla was that millennials couldn’t unload enough of their stock. Even more ironic, once again the source cited for this phenomena was the one and only Robinhood. Related: Robinhood Changed Trading Forever, Now It’s Going Public
Now, it appears that the young traders on Robinhood not only knew what they were doing when they made a 180 turnaround in support of Tesla, they were actually ahead of the curve. After just one scandal-free week, Tesla has managed to pull off their best week in the stock market since before the doomsday privatization tweet on August 7th.
Just by flying under the radar, Tesla managed to regain a seriously impressive 12 percent in the last 5 days of trading. This is bearing in mind that the gain is against their seriously dismal week prior, when an alarming number of staff departures were announced. Shares ended trading at $295.20, meaning that although it’s a whole lot better than it was just 7 days ago, the stock is still 15 percent down in the last 30 days and 24 percent off its 52-week high.
Even so, this rebound should not be underestimated. After all, production is up, and In the year of the 24-hour news cycle, Tesla could easily climb back to the top if they’re able to keep quiet and keep Elon’s fingers away from the “send” button on twitter and any particularly emotional interviews. And, speaking of comebacks, all those media companies itching for their next “millennials killed” piece will just have to keep looking.
By Haley Zaremba for Oilprice.com
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