Telsa and Twitter owner Elon Musk added about $21 billion to his profits over the seven days since last week, according to a Bloomberg-monitored index.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Musk’s fortune increased by $21 billion between Jan. 19 and 26. It now stands at around $156 billion.
Recent filings show Musk holds about 423,622,000 shares in electric vehicle maker Tesla worth some $53.87 billion as of Jan. 19. But the total value of Musk’s holdings jumped to $67.89 billion after Thursday’s market closing, according to the Dow Jones Market Data Group tracker, as reported by Fox Business.
Musk, according to Forbes, is currently worth about $177 billion and No. 2 in the world after Bernard Arnault and his family. He also has significant assets and liabilities as the CEO of SpaceX and Twitter, founder of The Boring Company, and the co-founder of Neuralink and ChatGPT maker OpenAI.
Over the past five days, Tesla’s stock has jumped about 27 percent after the automaker reported a record quarterly profit of nearly $3.7 billion. On Friday, it rose another 7 percent as of 12 p.m. ET.
“Thus far in January we’ve seen the strongest orders year-to-date than ever in our history. We’re currently seeing orders of almost twice the rate of production,” Musk said in an investor call Wednesday, reported CNBC. The company also reported revenue of $21.3 billion in the fourth quarter.
The company slightly beat Wall Street targets for fourth-quarter revenue and profit earlier on Wednesday despite a sharp decline in vehicle profit margins, and it sought to reassure investors that it can cut costs to cope with recession and as competition intensifies in the year ahead.
Deep price cuts this month have positioned Tesla as the initiator of a price war, but its forecast of a 37 percent rise in car volume for the year, to 1.8 million vehicles, was down from 2022’s pace. Musk, who has missed his own ambitious sales targets for Tesla in recent years, said 2023 deliveries could hit 2 million vehicles, absent external disruption.
Musk addressed the issue at the start of a call with investors and analysts.
“These price changes really make a difference for the average consumer,” he said, adding that vehicle orders were roughly double production in January, leading the automaker to make small price increases for the Model Y SUV.
‘Cash Is King’
He said he expected a “pretty difficult recession this year,” but he said that demand for Tesla vehicles “will be good despite probably a contraction in the automotive market as a whole.”
“In severe recessions, cash is king, big time,” Musk also remarked, adding that Tesla is well positioned to cope with an economic downturn because of its $20 billion of cash.
Meanwhile, Musk dismissed surveys that suggest his political comments on Twitter are damaging the Tesla brand. “I might not be popular” with some people, he said, “but for the vast majority of people, my follow count speaks for itself.” He has 127 million followers on the platform that he purchased late last year.
Revenue was $24.32 billion for the three months ended Dec. 31, compared with analysts’ average estimate of $24.16 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. Tesla’s full-year earnings were bolstered by $1.78 billion in regulatory credits, up 21 percent from a year earlier. Adjusted earnings per share of $1.19 topped the Wall Street analyst average of $1.13. It ended the fourth quarter with 13 days’ worth of vehicles in inventory, more than four times higher than the start of 2022, and a record $12.8 billion in value.
Morgan Stanley said Wednesday that Tesla vehicle prices would average between $45,000 to $48,000 in 2023.
“In our view, the price cuts are indeed in response to slowing incremental demand relative to incremental supply,” Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas stated in a note this week.
Reuters contributed to this report.