The day after Tesla completed its 5-for-1 stock split, the EV maker revealed it plans to sell as much as $5 billion of the newly divided shares to help offset future debt needs.
The California-based EV maker saw its stock take off this year like a SpaceX rocket, passing $2,000 a share just before the split. Not only did the stunning rise in prices make it the world’s most valuable automaker, it made CEO Elon Musk the third-richest man in the world.
Selling stock isn’t uncommon after a split as companies often look to raise money for a variety of reasons, and Tesla has several that $5 billion could handily address. The company had $8.6 billion in cash and cash equivalents at the end of June.
Tesla’s got several irons in the fire right — expensive irons, if you will. The company is in the midst of building a Gigafactory in Berlin, Germany and recently announced it would start construction on its second U.S. Gigafactory on a large site just outside of Austin, Texas.
Additionally, Musk appears to be trying to accelerate the development and production of the Cybertruck as well as the Semi truck as competitors like Nikola, Daimler, Lordstown, General Motors, Rivian, Ford and others are closing the gap in their move to produce electric trucks of all sizes.
According to the company’s official filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, it plans to use proceeds from the offering to strengthen its balance sheet and for general corporate purposes. Tesla’s shares were down 4.76% today to $475.05 in late-day trading.
Craig Irwin, a Roth Capital Partners analyst who has the equivalent of a ‘hold’ rating on the stock, on Tuesday said the capital raise did not come as a surprise.
“They will need cash for all the facilities they are building, and new growth initiatives,” Irwin told Reuters.
Other analysts were uncertain if Tesla would actually sell $5 billion in stock, perhaps being comfortable with less. David Whiston, an analyst at Morningstar Research, said he wasn’t certain how much the company would raise, suggesting to Reuters that the automaker doesn’t “need the money right now.”
“I can understand them taking advantage of the stock’s incredible run, but they don’t need the money right now,” Whiston said.
Tesla in February had announced plans to raise $2 billion in a stock offering. The company’s market capitalization is around $465 billion. The move pushed Musk’s personal net worth past $100 billion.