Shares of Tesla fell 5.5 percent on Thursday, to close at
$284.45, after the electric car maker posted its biggest
quarterly loss ever, though one that was still smaller than
analysts expected. However, investors were unnerved by comments
made by founder Elon Musk on the earnings call. When an analyst
asked him about capital requirements Musk snapped: "Next, next.
Boring bonehead questions are not cool." In response to another
question, he responded "Sorry, these questions are so dry.
They’re killing me."
His testiness evoked memories of Enron chief executive Jeff
Skilling, who in 2001 used vulgar language to respond to tough
questions about its finances from Richard Grubman, the then
managing director of Highfields Capital Management. Tesla
remains the largest equity short, according to S3 Partners, a
financial technology and analytics firm. Its short interest of
$11.94 billion is $1.5 billion larger than number two Apple.
One big beneficiary of the selloff was David
Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital, which is famously
short the stock.
Shares of streaming music giant Spotify fell 5.7 percent, to
close at $160.38, after it missed estimates in its first
earnings report since going public last month. According to the
company’s filing, when it went public, Chase
Coleman’s Tiger Global Management owned more than
12.8 million shares, or 7.2 percent of Spotify’s
total ordinary shares. Most of the shares were owned by Tiger
Global Private Investment Partners IX, L.P. (PIP IX).
In its first-quarter letter, dated April 30, Tiger Global
discussed the investment, saying its hedge funds purchased 0.5
percent of the company at roughly $107 per share. It also said
the company represents the largest investment in its ninth
private equity fund, which it explained put Tiger Global
Investments, its long-short funds, in a position to buy
additional shares while the company was still private.
"Streaming music providers have singlehandedly reversed a
multi-decade trend of recorded music industry declines, and
Spotify is the clear market leader, creating value for artists
as well as record labels and offering a superior product for
users," it explained in the letter. Altogether, Tiger Global
said it owns roughly 7 percent of the company. "We are excited
to be long-term shareholders," it added.
Credit Suisse raised its price target on fracking giant
Pioneer Natural Resources, from $235 to $245, after the company
reported first-quarter results that beat expectations. The bank
said in a note to clients that the company is improving its
capital efficiency even though it is boosting capital
expenditures. This is another stock famously shorted by
Greenlight Capital. The stock, however, fell 2.2 percent on
Thursday, to close at $192.14.
O. Andreas Halvorsen’s Viking Global Investors
has invested about $15 million in Birchbox, the struggling
beauty startup, according to Techcrunch.com. As a result, the hedge
fund is the majority owner. The company had been put on the
acquisition block. Back in 2014, Viking led
Birchbox’s $60 million funding round.