A skyrocketing rise in Tesla share price pushes entrepreneur past Microsoft co-founder
Chief executive of Tesla, Elon Musk, has surpassed Bill Gates and become the world’s second-richest person with a cool $128B. This comes after the electric car company he helped found 17 years ago soars in value to more than $500B.
Just this year, his personal fortune increased by $100B as investors around the globe have rushed to buy shares in Tesla. This effort is seen as a key element in weaning the world off its reliance of fossil fuels.
So just how much does a share in Tesla run? The shares have risen six-fold this year alone, and jumped 4.6% on Tuesday to $546-a-share — taking its stock market value to $517B.
This sudden surge comes as a result of investment funds rushing in recent days to buy stakes in advance of Tesla’s debut on the US blue chip S&P 500 index next month. Back in January, the shares were valued at just $86.
On Tuesday, Musk, who owns 20% of Tesla’s shares, saw his wealth skyrocket from $7.2B to $128B. Pushing him over Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos remains the world’s richest man.
This leap for Musk in the world wealth rankings comes just a week after he passed Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, to take the third place position. Musk held the 35th slot in January. While Bezo’s $182B fortune has seen an increase of $67B so far this year.
With the rapid share price growth, Musk’s wealth could continue to soar higher. Musk is on track for a bonus deal that could pay him a record $55.8B. For Musk to trigger this generous payout he must grow Tesla into a $650B company by year 2028. When the scheme was originally created in 2018 it was valued at $55B.
The debut of Tesla’s S&P 500 on December 21 is set to be the biggest on record, and a mass amount of trading is expected to take place in the days leading up to the debut. “[Tesla] will be one of the largest weight additions to the S&P 500 in the last decade, and consequently will generate one of the largest funding trades in S&P 500 history,” a spokesman for S&P Dow Jones Indices said.
The inclusion in Tesla’s index is significant because the passive funds that track S&P 500 will need to buy shares in the company.
In an effort to avert the global heating crisis, some governments like the UK have set targets to ban internal combustion-engine vehicles. And some analysts say Tesla’s shares could climb even higher as a result of this effort.
The research director of equity research at Wedbush Securities, Dan Ives, said there was an increased demand for Tesla’s flagship Model 3 car in Europe and China. Ives raised his price target from $500 to $560. Also increasing his “bull case” from $800 to $1,000.
Ives said Tesla will more than likely achieve its goal of delivering 1M electric cars by year 2023. “The Tesla bull story is now all about a stepped-up EV [electric vehicle] demand trajectory into 2021,” he said in a research note to clients. “Overall we are seeing a major inflection of EV demand globally with our expectations that EV vehicles ramp from about 3% of total auto sales today to 10% by 2025.”
Even making far fewer vehicles than others, Tesla has the highest market value of any other car company in the world. Tesla is expected to deliver 500,000 electric vehicles this year, while Japanese carmaker Toyota has an annual production of about 10M.
Though three-quarters of Musk’s net worth comes from his stake in Tesla, he is also involved in spacecraft through his company SpaceX. Last week, SpaceX sent four astronauts to the International Space Station on its rocket, Falcon, and Dragon capsule — in a commercial contract with NASA. SpaceX is also set to launch 60 broadband internet satellites (Starlink) into orbit.