Tesla’s stock price fell for the fourth straight day Tuesday after its massive Monday plunge wiped $15 billion off CEO Elon Musk’s net worth.
The electric-car maker’s shares dropped as much as 13 percent to $619.50 in early trading, putting it below the price where it entered the S&P 500 index in December.
That followed an 8.5 percent drop in Tesla shares that caused CEO Elon Musk’s fortune to shrink by $15.2 billion on Monday, once again making him the world’s second-richest person behind Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index.
Musk may have only himself to blame. Tesla’s stock tanked after his Saturday tweet declaring that the prices of bitcoin and Ether — the world’s two largest cryptocurrencies — “seem high,” raising questions about the value of the automaker’s $1.5 billion investment in the former.
“Since diving into the deep end of the pool with its $1.5 billion Bitcoin purchase last month for both good and bad the company’s stock is now heavily tied to this digital currency,” Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives said in a Tuesday research note.
A day earlier, Ives had estimated that Tesla booked a $1 billion paper profit on the bitcoin buy before Musk’s post helped drive down the price of the digital coin, which plunged below $50,000 early Tuesday morning.
Tesla shares have sunk more than 20 percent since the Silicon Valley titan disclosed its blockbuster bet on cryptocurrency, which Musk has called a “less dumb form of liquidity than cash.”
But the billionaire tech tycoon remained defiant Tuesday. When market strategist Peter Schiff pointed out on Twitter that Tesla’s stock had entered a bear market since the bitcoin announcement, Musk simply replied with an eggplant emoji, which Schiff took to mean that he was “basically calling me a dick.”
Tesla also took a hit Monday after electric-vehicle news outlet Electrek reported that the company had stopped taking orders for the cheapest version of its Model Y SUV.
Musk appeared to confirm the news on Twitter, saying he didn’t think “the range, in many drive conditions, yet meets the Tesla standard of excellence.” He said the model was still available “off menu.”