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Musk Draws SEC Attention With Another Controversial Tweet

Tesla

Just two months after he tweeted a production figure forecast, Tesla’s chief executive has done it again just days after he had to appear in court because the Securities and Exchange Commission accused him of violating an agreement to first ask the board of directors for approval of any tweets that might move Tesla stock.

Bloomberg reports that the tweet comes amid concern about the future performance of the company after reports that Tesla and Panasonic were shelving their plans to expand the production capacity of the Nevada gigafactory.

The tweet was actually a reply to another network user’s tweet in a discussion regarding the future value of electric cars and Tesla's in particular. However, if the SEC is watching Musk as closely as its reaction to his previous tweet suggests, chances are it will again try to get him in line with the help of the court system.

The financial markets regulator in February asked a judge to hold Elon Musk in contempt for violating a deal the regulator struck with the Tesla chief executive last year, which requires him to get the approval of the Tesla board of directors before tweeting anything that could “be material to investors.” Related: How Long Will Stock Market Euphoria Last?

The tweet that prompted the SEC move said that Tesla will manufacture half a million cars this year. The tweet, however, was quickly followed by another one, clarifying that “Meant to say annualized production rate at end of 2019 probably around 500k, ie 10k cars/week. Deliveries for year still estimated to be about 400k.” 

The judge was not impressed, however, and told both sides to “Take a deep breath, put your reasonableness pants on, and work this out,” giving them until this Thursday to settle their differences out of court. If they fail to do so, Judge Alison Nathan will rule on the contempt charge.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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