It’s not like Tesla shareholders needed another reason to worry about their investment, considering the electric vehicle maker’s slumping stock price and uncertain business outlook. Now comes word that Tesla has lost more than $500 million in value from its bitcoin investment during the current “crypto winter.”
The news was reported on Wednesday by Electrek, a site devoted to all things Tesla. Electrek based the figure on Tesla’s $1.5 billion investment in bitcoin in early 2021 — a number that eventually grew to $2 billion.
How did the investment lose so much value in less than two years? Simply put: Bitcoin’s price has tanked in a big way of late amid a widespread slump in the crypto industry. Bitcoin’s price hovered near $20,000 this week — its lowest level since Dec. 2020 and 70% off its high set in Nov. 2021, CNBC reported.
For Tesla, it means a loss of nearly $600 million in value from its bitcoin investment. But as Electrek noted, that loss still represents only 10% of Tesla’s cash position and 0.1% of its total market capitalization.
Tesla to Implement Price Hikes
Of bigger concern to investors are reports that Tesla will implement across-the-board price hikes for its U.S. models, The Street reported. This indicates that the automaker is facing rising costs for labor and raw materials that could cut into its near-term profit margins.
In April, Tesla told investors that “the inflationary impact on our cost structure has contributed to adjustments in our product pricing, despite a continued focus on reducing our manufacturing costs where possible.”
Shareholders might also be uneasy about Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s tumultuous bid to buy Twitter for $44 billion. Musk was scheduled to meet with Twitter staff this week in San Francisco.
Tesla Shares Trending Downward
Meanwhile, Tesla shares continue to head south, falling about 6% in early trading on June 16. The stock has lost more than 40% of its value since the beginning of the year, something that has Wall Street more than a little concerned.
Analysts who follow Tesla have an average rating of 2.4 on the stock, putting it slightly in “buy” territory but moving closer to “hold” territory. More than half of the 23 analysts cited by Yahoo Finance have a “hold” or “underperform” rating on the stock.
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