(Bloomberg) — After a $280 billion rally since late May, Tesla Inc. is using a reliable method to drive additional earnings. It might not work like that.
The electric vehicle maker’s second share split in so many years takes effect when US markets open on Thursday, a move aimed at bolstering an already strong base of retail investors. The former, in 2020, was among a number of factors that boosted the stock more than eight times that year.
The latest split comes close to similar moves by Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc., whose subsequent stock performance suggested that this once-reliable valuation-boosting tactic is losing its potency amid the ravages of a bear market. Amazon shares are down more than 10% from the split’s announcement to the day it became effective, while Alphabet lost 21% between those events.
“The smoke-and-mirror rise of the stock split is much more prevalent in a bull market when retail investors rush into equities,” said Greg Martin, managing director and co-founder of Rainmaker Securities. “In bear markets, retail investors tend to be less involved and institutional actors would never be fooled by a stock split into switching to a stock.”
Shares in the Elon Musk-led company have dropped 12% since late March when it declared its split plan, a far cry from 2020, when shares are up 60% from the announcement to the last close before the start of the adjusted split. negotiation. Tesla traded at $303.04 at 4:12 a.m. in New York premarket trading, up from the previous close of $297.10 when adjusted for the division.
Riskier growth stocks such as Tesla have taken the brunt of a sour stock market mood this year amid the threat of recession. Stocks are down 16% year-to-date, heading for their first annual decline since 2016. And having surged 42% by Wednesday’s close since hitting an annual low on May 24, the rally hit a wall in August, with broader enthusiasm among retail investors it started to signal again.
According to Vanda Research, investors tend to “dramatically reduce” stock purchases in the weeks after the split takes effect. The company does not believe it will be any different for Tesla this time around, it said in a statement.
In addition to a hesitant investor climate, the stock’s eye-watering valuation can also make it difficult to make gains. Tesla is trading at about 57 times future earnings estimates compared to 17 times for the S&P 500 index. And the average analyst price target implies a drop of about 3% over the next 12 months, even if the index benchmark should rise by more than 15%.
“There’s a lot of hope, speculation and hero worship in the current valuation,” said Catherine Faddis, chief investment officer at Grace Capital. To buy the stock now, an investor must believe that in 10 years Tesla will have revenue of $800 billion, Faddis said, nearly 10 times this year’s estimates.
Then there’s the litany of challenges for the company — production issues in China, persistent supply chain shortages across the automotive industry and high raw material costs, as well as Musk’s litigation with Twitter Inc. – which can overshadow any potential exuberance driven by separation.
Still, Tesla’s strong popularity with the crowd of domestic investors could warrant a short-term rise in the stock if broader investor sentiment improves again.
“A strong retail following is the key ingredient for a stock split to make a difference,” said Rainmaker Securities’ Martin, adding that Tesla’s timing for the split could be lucky as climate law “ will create substantial new demand for electric vehicles. and Tesla is a market leader in the EV market.”
tech graphic of the day
When Tesla runs its division, there will only be eight components of the Nasdaq 100 with shares valued at more than $500. $500 has halved since the beginning of the year.
Top technology stories
Nvidia Corp., which warned earlier this month that its sales were falling, gave a disappointing forecast for the current period, which added to signs of weakness in the semiconductor industry.
Pinterest Inc. is facing an investigation by the California Department of Civil Rights, the company confirmed, after several employees filed allegations of discrimination in recent years.
Salesforce Inc. gave a quarterly revenue forecast that fell short of analysts’ estimates, suggesting that a shaky economy may be causing some customers to reduce spending on enterprise software. The shares fell in protracted trading.
Snowflake Inc. rose late in the trading session after its quarterly sales forecast beat analysts’ estimates, assuring Wall Street that companies are still investing in their technology systems to increase efficiency.
Amazon.com Inc. is shutting down its primary care and telehealth service, a sudden move that follows the company’s deal to buy chain of clinics One Medical.
Singapore’s Grab Holdings Ltd., once Southeast Asia’s most valuable startup, is faltering behind the GoTo Group in public markets as it struggles to gain ground in its Indonesian rival’s turf.
South Korean agriculture and food trading platform Tridge Co. raised 50 billion won ($37 million) at a valuation of 3.6 trillion won, making it the latest billion-dollar startup in SoftBank Group Corp’s stable.
Nidec Corp. president and chief operating officer Jun Seki plans to leave the electric motor maker ahead of a management overhaul by founder Shigenobu Nagamori, 77, people with knowledge of the matter said.
More stories like this are available at bloomberg.com
©2022 Bloomberg LP