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Elon Musk delivers a slap on the face of Tesla short-sellers

You know why Elon Musk has many fans? Because he delivers an iron punch every single time. After drawing the ire of Wall Street analysts and a section of investors by snubbing questions about Tesla’s (TSLA) cash-burning Model 3 at a recent earnings call, CEO Elon Musk ramped up his stake in the company to about 20% this week.

In a fitting response to his critics and investors who shorted the stock following the controversial post-earnings conference, Musk invested nearly $10 million to acquire over 33,000 shares of his own company. According to sources, Musk’s latest investment in Tesla shares is the biggest in more than a year.

The move underscores Musk’s unwavering confidence in Tesla’s electric car project, which has remained a cause of concern for stakeholders for long, due to back-to-back production delays and delivery issues.

A couple of days after being trolled in the social media for alienating investors and analysts through his erratic utterances at the earnings call, Musk in a Twitter message defended his action saying the analysts were trying to justify their Tesla short thesis and claimed that only a few questioners represented real investors.

Musk acquired over 33,000 Tesla shares for about $10 million, in the largest investment in his own company in more than a year

What remains to be seen is whether Musk would succeed in meeting the production targets, given he is making substantive efforts to address the company’s faltering cash flow, which has remained in the negative territory for quite a long time. The flamboyant entrepreneur also faces the uphill task of delivering on his promise to turn Tesla profitable in the second half of the current fiscal year.

In addition, Musk will have to go an extra mile to earn back investors’ trust, considering the lackluster performance of the stock in recent months, particularly after the fatal crash involving its driverless car last year and the mass recall of Model S sedans.

Meanwhile, bringing relief to the worried shareholders, Tesla stock recouped some of the losses that followed the downbeat first-quarter earnings results and combative earnings call.

Experts are of the view that going forward, the demand for short-selling will die out and Tesla’s stock would stabilize on long-term investments, while an improvement in the demand-supply balance of Model 3 would ease customers’ concerns.

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