Shares of Tesla Inc. closed below $150 for the first time in more than two years on Monday, after analysts said they feared Chief Executive Elon Musk could be distracted from running the automaker $484 billion electrics, as he also runs social media. serviceTwitter.
shares closed down 0.2% at $149.87. Factoring in the stock’s 3-for-1 split in August, shares closed lower than they have since Oct. 15, 2020, when they closed at $149.63 adjusted for the division. The S&P 500 SPX index,
slid 0.9% on Monday and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index COMP
Tesla shares are down 57.5% year-to-date, compared to a 19.9% drop on the S&P 500 and a 32.6% drop on the Nasdaq. Tesla shares suffered their worst week since 2020 last week as a top investor called on Musk to appoint a new Tesla CEO and Musk sold $3.6 billion worth of Tesla shares, his second big sale of shares in just over a month.
Read more: Tesla stock suffers worst week since 2020 with Elon Musk sale, major shareholder calls for new CEO
Tesla shares have struggled since Musk agreed to acquire Twitter for $44 billion earlier this year and then sued to try to get out of the deal. Since the deal officially closed in October, Musk has appeared to spend much of his time focusing on the social media service and has reportedly recruited employees from Tesla as well as SpaceX in an effort to overthrow Twitter.
Oppenheimer analyst Colin Rusch downgraded Tesla for happening in a Monday note, citing the maelstrom on Twitter and noting that he had tried to ignore it before.
“As we continue to see Tesla price electric vehicles and autonomous technology ahead of its peers and push costs to levels those pairs will struggle to match – and have tried to separate non-Tesla efforts from Elon Musk (personal and professional) of our analysis on TSLA – we believe that the acquisition of Mr. Musk and the subsequent management of Twitter now becomes this untenable separation,” Rusch said.
“The combination of Twitter’s unclear cash needs and dwindling options for Mr. Musk to meet those needs amid widespread public backlash caused by the inconsistent application of standards for Twitter users, including the ban of certain journalists, pushing us aside,” continued Rusch.
“It’s time to end this nightmare as CEO of Twitter,” Wedbush analyst Dan Ives wrote in a separate note on Monday, citing a poll Musk posted to Twitter on Sunday night asking users if he were to step down as CEO.
Read : Poll shows Twitter users support Elon Musk’s removal
“From the botched verification subscription plan to the banning of journalists to the political firestorms appearing daily, this has been the storm as the ads raced for the hills and left Twitter perfectly square in red ink eventually on the on track to lose about $4 billion a year, we estimate,” wrote Ives, who has an outperform rating on Tesla and a price target of $250.
Meanwhile, Sen. Elizabeth Warren has called on Tesla Chairman Robyn Denholm to address concerns the board has failed to meet its legal obligations by failing to respond to its CEO’s behavior.
Read : ‘Tesla Isn’t Musk’s Private Plaything’ – Senator Elizabeth Warren Asks Tesla Chairman To Resolve CEO’s Twitter Conflict
Of the 43 analysts who have run Tesla, 27 have buy ratings, 13 have hold ratings and three have sell ratings, along with an average target price of $281.19.