- Joe Skipper/Reuters
- Tesla shareholder T. Rowe Price cut its stake in half in the fourth quarter, a regulatory filing showed on Monday.
- As of September, prior to the divestiture, T. Rowe was the automaker’s second-largest shareholder, trailing only CEO Elon Musk.
- Now, Baillie Gifford is Tesla’s biggest institutional stakeholder.
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The filing showed that T. Rowe had reduced its stake to 5.2% as of the end of December, down from the 10.12% stake it held in September. Prior to the divestiture, T. Rowe was Tesla’s second-largest overall shareholder, trailing only CEO Elon Musk.
The move makes Scottish investing giant Baillie Gifford Tesla’s biggest institutional stakeholder.
Tesla investors didn’t seem particularly perturbed by the development. The company’s stock climbed 3.59% on Monday, trading near $316.77 per share.
T. Rowe’s withdrawal of investment could be reflective of broader concerns about the company’s ability to self-fund its growth ambitions. On January 30, the tech company reported worse-than-expected profits for the fourth quarter, despite achieving two consecutive profitable quarters for the first time.
And while Tesla swore it would be profitable in “all quarters going forward,” Morgan Stanley says the company will still need to raise more external capital.
“We forecast Tesla 1Q19 free cash flow to be negative $600 million driven by a sequential decline in profit and working capital leakage,” Adam Jonas, an analyst at Morgan Stanley, said recently. He pushed out his forecast of a $2.5 billion equity capital raise to the third quarter of the year.
Tesla is up 3.1% so far this year.
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