Controversial and influential Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk was recently named Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” for 2021. The award is a tremendous honor for Musk, but some long-time Amazon.com, Inc. investors may still have nightmares about the time Amazon founder and former CEO Jeff Bezos was also named Time’s “Person of the Year.”
Time Magazine Curse? Bezos received “Person of the Year” honors for 1999 on Dec. 20, 1999. On that day, Amazon shares closed at $97. Less than two years later, Amazon shares closed at a new all-time low of $5.67 on Sept. 27, 2001. During that 11-month stretch immediately following Bezos’ award, Amazon shares lost an incredible 94 percent of their value.
Bezos and Musk have had a somewhat contentious rivalry over the years. Musk and Bezos are also currently the two most wealthy people in the world, worth a combined $437 billion.
Tesla investors are hoping Tesla shares can avoid the same Time Magazine curse that hit Amazon stock back in 1999. So far, they have not. Musk was announced as “Person of the Year” on Monday, and Tesla shares are now down 7.6 percent since last Friday’s close.
Tesla Risk: Former hedge fund manager Whitney Tilson said Wednesday he does not expect Tesla to repeat Amazon’s 94 percent Time Magazine sell-off, and he would not recommend traders short Tesla stock.
“But I will say this: as I scan the 100 companies with the largest market caps that trade in the U.S., Tesla jumps out at me as the one that could cost investors the most money, the fastest…” Tilson said.
Benzinga’s Take: The silver lining for Amazon investors that held on through the bursting of the dot-com bubble is Amazon’s stock has been a more than 600-bagger since it bottomed in 2001. In addition, the stocks of other billionaire tech CEOs have fared much better following “Person of the Year” honors. In the two years after Bill Gates was named Time “Person of the Year” in 2005, Microsoft Corporation MSFT -1.17 percent stock was up 31.3 percent.
By Wayne Duggan
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