The revelation that billionaire George Soros’ investment management firm sold off its entire Tesla stake last quarter seemingly kicked off an otherwise unprompted attack from Elon Musk, but the firm is one of many that sold off loads of Tesla shares last quarter, cashing in on the stock’s nearly 70% rise following its dismal 2022 performance, according to regulatory filings.
According to a regulatory filing on Friday, Soros Fund Management offloaded more than 132,000 shares in Tesla last quarter, getting rid of a stake acquired last year and worth about $16.3 million at the end of the previous quarter.
As reports of the sale emerged, Musk lashed out against the billionaire, but Soros Fund Management was far from the biggest Tesla seller last quarter: Citadel Advisors, the investment firm founded by billionaire Ken Griffin, trimmed its stake by more than 7 million shares, representing some $1.5 billion at the end of the quarter.
In an email, a Citadel spokesperson noted the vast majority of the Tesla positions, which include call and put options in addition to the shares, are held by market-maker Citadel Securities to facilitate the buying and selling of shares by other investors.
Meanwhile, Two Sigma Investments, the hedge fund helmed by billionaires John Overdeck and David Siegel, disclosed on Monday it held about 34,390 Tesla shares at the end of March, down from the 1.5 million shares, or roughly $300 million, it reported at the end of last year.
Steven Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management also reported offloading all its shares, some 900,000 at the end of last year, during the quarter, though it still held 7,400 call options, which give owners the option to buy shares at a later date.
Two Sigma and Point72 did not immediately respond to Forbes‘ requests for comment, but the batch of sales came as shares of Tesla skyrocketed nearly 70% last quarter—helping the firm recoup some losses from 2022 thanks in part to resilient profits in its latest two earnings reports.
On the flipside, some firms have been net buyers during the recent stock surge: Bank of America, Germany’s DZ Bank and investment firm Loomis Sayles all reported increasing their Tesla positions by at least 1 million shares last quarter.
Shares of Tesla sank as much as 72% from a record in 2021 after Musk bought Twitter and installed himself as its CEO, selling off about $23 billion of his Tesla stock to help fund the purchase and leading some investors to worry the chief may shift too much focus to the social media network. However, some optimism has since returned. After Musk announced he would step aside as Twitter’s CEO, Wedbush analyst Dan Ives upgraded his price target for Tesla shares to $215—implying more than 30% upside from the current price of $165.
Aside from Tesla, Soros’ firm also slashed its stakes in rival carmaker Rivian and other tech stocks like Amazon and Google-parent Alphabet.
$190.50. That’s the average one-year price target for Tesla among analysts who cover its stock—about 15% higher than current levels, according to FactSet.
Musk Fans Conspiracies About George Soros After Billionaire’s Fund Dumps All Tesla Holdings (Forbes)
Tesla Execs Will Reportedly Meet Indian Officials In Push To Reduce Reliance On China (Forbes)
Here’s How Much Tesla Stock Could Gain As Musk Steps Down As Twitter CEO (Forbes)
Read the full article here