To the surprise of almost no one, Elon Musk walked out of a federal courthouse Thursday still wearing the hat of CEO of Tesla.
He was there for a hearing that resulted from the US Securities and Exchange Commission charging in February that Musk had violated an agreement it reached with him in October over his tweeting. After expressing disdain for the regulator, Musk kept on tweeting, which resulted in the SEC finding that he should be held in contempt of court.
Judge Sets 2-Week Deadline for Elon Musk & SEC to Work Out Differences
Instead of being stripped of his CEO role, or fined for being in contempt, the judge ordered that the teams for Musk and SEC work for the next two weeks to try to settle their differences.
When asked if that was feasible, Musk, with a smile, said “most likely.”
BREAKING: Judge orders SEC and Elon Musk to confer over next 2 weeks to try to settle issue and doesn’t rule on contempt. Elon Musk told CNBC they will “most likely” work it out as he left court.https://t.co/KyFWIUIAI2 pic.twitter.com/VPRQ7eUIfq
— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) April 4, 2019
Musk Playing Nice Doesn’t Reverse Tesla Stock Drop
In a sign that things went well during the hearing, Musk said he was “happy” and “impressed” with the judge’s analysis of the situation. We know that when he doesn’t like someone, he doesn’t make it a secret. Just ask the SEC.
His optimism did little to quell investor unhappiness, however. The stock closed down 8.23%, though it edged 0.08% higher during after-market trading. It had been down by more than 10% on the day.
CCN reported that Tesla’s stock was spiraling downwards on news that it had failed to deliver more cars in Q1 than it did during the previous quarter. Aggravating the shares was news that the failure also missed analysts’ expectations.
The selloff started after Tesla reported a record decline in deliveries in the first quarter. During the three months, Tesla produced about 77,000 vehicles, consisting mainly of its flagship Model 3. The Model S and Model X rounded out the bunch.
TSLA Roiled by Shorts
Musk’s confidence about getting the contempt charges behind him didn’t resonate with those shorting Tesla. Investors betting against Tesla were up nearly $800 million, CNBC reported.
Tesla has 129.5 million shares outstanding. Its short float is a whopping 20.81%.