Elon Musk may seem to be under constant fire for mismanaging Twitter, but the social media company’s battered advertising business has done little damage to its owner’s personal finance, as his actual main venture, Tesla (TSLA), quietly adds billions to his fortune.
In late May, Musk reclaimed his position as the world’s wealthiest person, dethroning LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault, after Tesla’s share price soared nearly 90 percent in the first five months of 2023. Since then, Tesla stock has climbed another 30 percent to a 10-month high of $283, which bolsters its CEO’s net worth to $247 billion, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index.
Strong demand, charging deals with competing EV makers, hype around artificial intelligence, and a broad market rebound from a brutal 2022 all played a role in Tesla’s stock boom this year.
About a dozen carmakers including General Motors, Ford and Rivian are either considering or have signed agreements to adopt Tesla’s unique EV charging standard, known as the North American Charging Standard (NACS). These partnerships could open up a new revenue stream for Tesla, and for Musk—whose ambition goes beyond selling electric cars.
On Sunday (July 2), Tesla reported it delivered 466,140 electric vehicles globally in the three months ending June 30, beating analysts’ estimate by more than 20,000 cars. The number also suggests Tesla is on track to double its unit sales this year to hit 2 million vehicles.
“This was a massive delivery beat and will send the Tesla bears back into hibernation mode,” Dan Ives, an analyst with Wedbush Securities, tweeted on July 2. “This was a trophy case quarter for Musk & Co.”
However, after several rounds of aggressive price cuts, it’s unclear profitable these deliveries actually were. Tesla is set to report quarterly financial results on July 19.
Tesla bears pic.twitter.com/4ic6m08Gk5
— Dan Ives (@DivesTech) July 2, 2023
Meanwhile, Musk’s decisions for Twitter continue to draw controversy. On Saturday, he announced Twitter users would only be able to read a limited number of posts per day, depending on verification status. The company, now headed by CEO Linda Yaccarino, said the restrictions would be temporary and were intended to combat bot accounts. Advertising experts say the move could undermine Yaccarino’s efforts to boost the platform’s advertising revenue.
Roughly half of Musk’s fortune is tied to Tesla equities, worth $115 billion, according to Bloomberg. He has a $49 billion stake in SpaceX. His ownership in Twitter is valued at only $8.8 billion per Bloomberg’s calculation. He paid $44 billion for the social media company in October 2022.