Elon Musk was the richest person in the world for about four days, overtaking Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos for the No. 1 slot on Thursday before Tesla’s stock nosedived on Monday and wiped out nearly $14billion in the company’s value.
Musk’s net worth eclipsed $188.5billion on Thursday thanks to a 6 per cent surge of Tesla stock on Thursday.
The previous day, the electric car maker saw its shares climb more than 4.6 per cent.
At the time, Bezos’ net worth was estimated to be $187billion.
But on Monday, Tesla’s stock dropped precipitously. Shares of Tesla fell almost 8 per cent on Monday, the largest one-day dip since late September.
Elon Musk (left) was the richest person in the world for about four days, overtaking Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (right) for the No. 1 slot on Thursday before Tesla’s stock nosedived on Monday and wiped out nearly $14billion in the company’s value
Musk’s net worth eclipsed $188.5billion on Thursday thanks to a 6 per cent surge of Tesla stock on Thursday. But on Monday (circled), Tesla’s stock dropped precipitously. Shares of Tesla fell almost 8 per cent on Monday, the largest one-day dip since late September
As of mid-day on Tuesday, however, Musk, 49, appears poised to regain the title of world’s richest person. Shares of Tesla soared by more than 5 per cent while Amazon stock (above) fell by slightly less than a half of a percentage point as of mid-day on Tuesday
According to Forbes, Musk’s net worth dropped to $176.2billion, nearly $6billion less than that of the 57-year-old Bezos.
As of mid-day on Tuesday, however, Musk, 49, appears poised to regain the title of world’s richest person.
Shares of Tesla soared by more than 5 per cent while Amazon stock fell by slightly less than a half of a percentage point as of mid-day on Tuesday.
If those trends hold by the end of trading on Wall Street on Tuesday, Musk will once again be the world’s richest person, according to the Forbes billionaire tracker.
In the brief moments that Musk held the title of richest person, he appeared to brush off the accolades on Thursday morning.
The Twitter account for the Tesla Owners of Silicon Valley wrote: ‘@elonmusk is now the richest person in the world at $190 billion.’
In one tweet, Musk wrote: ‘How strange.’ He followed that tweet up with: ‘Well, back to work …’
Musk overtook Bill Gates as the second-richest person in November, a significant jump for the entrepreneur who started off 2020 ranked 35.
French fashion mogul Bernard Arnault, the billionaire founder of LVMH, and his family have the third largest net worth in the world – $151.4billion, according to Forbes.
Gates, the Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist, is a distant fourth at $121.3billion.
Musk has a 20 per cent stake in the carmaker and about $42billion of unrealized paper gains on vested stock options, according to Bloomberg.
He also has a 48 per cent stake in his aerospace company, SpaceX.
French fashion mogul Bernard Arnault, the billionaire founder of LVMH, and his family have the third largest net worth in the world. Pictured: Alexandre, second from left, with his brother Frederic, father Bernard, sister Delphine and model Bella Hadid (left) at the Louis Vuitton Menswear F/W show in Paris in 2020
Musk managed to increase his wealth by more than $146billion in the last 12 months, despite the economic downturn brought by the coronavirus pandemic.
Tesla reported a series of profitable quarters throughout 2020 and joined the S&P 500, establishing the company as one of the world’s most valuable businesses.
On Saturday, Tesla reported better-than-expected 2020 vehicle deliveries, driven by a steady rise in electric vehicle adoption, but narrowly missed its ambitious full-year goal during a punishing year for the global auto industry.
The company delivered 499,550 vehicles during 2020, above Wall Street estimates of 481,261 vehicles, according to Refinitiv data – but 450 units shy of CEO Elon Musk’s target of half a million vehicles.
Musk tweeted he was ‘proud of the Tesla team for achieving this major milestone’.
‘At the start of Tesla, I thought we had (optimistically) a 10% chance of surviving at all,’ he said.
Tesla at the start of 2020 said it would ‘comfortably exceed 500,000 units’ for the year, a target it has left unchanged despite the pandemic.
Chief Financial Officer Zachary Kirkhorn in October said Tesla was ‘aiming to achieve (its) original 2020 guidance’.
Tesla has pinned hopes on new markets such as Europe and Asia, with competition intensifying in its home turf as legacy automakers double down on their investments in the booming EV space.
Tesla’s delivery push has been supported by its new Shanghai factory, the only plant currently producing vehicles outside California.
The carmaker said Model Y production in Shanghai has begun, with deliveries expected shortly.
Bloomberg reports the Model Y will cost 339,900 yuan ($52,074) in China when sales begin in the country.
Meanwhile, the Model Y Performance car will cost 369,900 yuan ($56,620) in China.
Tesla reported a series of profitable quarters throughout 2020 and joined the S&P 500, establishing the company as one of the world’s most valuable businesses
Despite being the new title holder, Musk appeared to brush off the news on Twitter on Thursday morning. In one tweet, Musk wrote: ‘How strange.’ He followed that tweet up with: ‘Well, back to work …’
In the United States, production of the Model Y takes place in Fremont, California, and deliveries on the vehicle began in March 2020.
Palo Alto, California-based Tesla said it delivered 180,570 vehicles during the fourth quarter, a quarterly record for the electric carmaker, beating estimates of 163,628 vehicles.
Musk has hit a stride after stumbling in 2018, when US securities regulators required the Tesla chief to step down as chairman and pay $20million to settle charges he defrauded investors with false claims on Twitter in August about a possible bid to take the company private, which was quickly aborted.
Musk also was embroiled in a messy public fight over his comments about a British caver, who had mocked the Tesla CEO’s offer of a mini-submarine to rescue young soccer players trapped in a cave in Thailand in the summer of 2018.
The caver, Vernon Unsworth, sued Musk after the Tesla chief called him ‘pedo guy’ on social media, but a California jury in December 2019 ruled the remark was not defamation.
Musk put these controversies behind him last year as Tesla significantly boosted output at car factories in California and Shanghai and moved ahead to build new factories in Texas and Germany.
Tesla watchers do not think Musk will be able to match the massive valuation surge in 2021, but expect continued progress as the carmaker adds production capacity and pushes the envelope on new technologies, including autonomous autos.
Still, several analysts consider the stock to be overvalued, even if they praise the company.
‘Tesla’s performance in 2020 was impressive, but not as impressive as the increase in its shares, which we continue to believe are overvalued,’ said a note earlier this week from JPMorgan Chase, which has an ‘underweight’ on the equity.