TSLA Sep 2020 320.000 call

OPR - OPR Delayed price. Currency in USD
58.75
0.00 (0.00%)
As of 3:48PM EST. Market open.
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous close58.75
Open58.90
Bid59.90
Ask63.45
Strike320.00
Expiry date2020-09-18
Day's range57.15 - 60.20
Contract rangeN/A
Volume31
Open interest72
  • Elon Musk Beats Back Defamation Lawsuit Over Insulting Tweet
    Bloomberg

    Elon Musk Beats Back Defamation Lawsuit Over Insulting Tweet

    (Bloomberg) -- Elon Musk beat back a defamation claim from a British cave expert who sued the billionaire CEO over a tweet in which Musk labeled Vernon Unsworth a “pedo guy.”A federal jury in Los Angeles Friday took about an hour to return a verdict that said Musk’s insult fell short of defamation.“We were pretty much unanimous from the word ‘go,”’ said Carl Shusterman, a 70-year-old immigration lawyer who served on a jury for the first time.Shusterman said the verdict was straight-forward because it wasn’t clear if the tweet was actually about Unsworth, since Musk didn’t name him. The judge told the jurors that was one of the elements required to establish defamation, Shusterman said.“My faith in humanity has been restored,” Musk said after the verdict.It’s another win for Musk, 48, who’s managed to get out of legal trouble relatively unscathed. Musk agreed to step down from his role of chairman of Tesla Inc. for three years in 2018 to settle a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit over a tweet the regulator said misled investors. But he’s run Tesla and SpaceX as usual.“It’s the last formal distraction from when Elon Musk went off the Twitter rails in 2018,” said Gene Munster of Loup Ventures. “Putting that to rest -- regardless of what the jury decided --is a step forward for Musk.”Unsworth had sought $190 million in damages for the harm he claimed to have suffered from the tweet, and to punish Musk. Musk said he fired off the tweet in anger after Unsworth insulted him and his team in a television interview.“I respect the jury’s decision,” Unsworth said after the verdict. “I’ll take it on the chin and move on.”His lawyers were less gracious, repeatedly referring to Musk as a “billionaire bully.”L. Lin Wood, one of Unsworth’s lawyers, said he wasn’t happy with the outcome. “He deserved a different kind of justice,” Wood said. Wood said he hasn’t decided whether to appeal the verdict.The four-day civil trial featured Wood and Alex Spiro -- two heavyweights squaring off in the courtroom. Wood had represented Richard Jewell, the security guard falsely accused of being connected to the Centennial Olympic Park bombing during the 1996 Summer Olympics.Spiro, a former prosecutor based in New York, lists rapper Jay-Z, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and several NBA players, including ex-Knick Charles Oakley as former clients.Spiro issued a five-word statement after the verdict.“The jury got it right,” he said.It was the first time that Musk has been called as a witness at a trial, despite numerous legal spats, including one with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over a tweet the regulator said misled investors.Musk told the jury the tweet aimed at Unsworth shouldn’t have been taken literally and was sent because the caver insulted his effort to help rescue members of a Thai soccer team from a flooded cave in 2018.The rescue effort had riveted the attention of the world’s media. Musk and engineers at his companies prepared a mini submarine, built with rocket parts, to help. The kids, aged 11 to 16, were saved without the use of the sub.The high-profile effort from the celebrity CEO drew derision from Unsworth, who knew the caves well and helped in the rescue effort. He told CNN that Musk could “stick his submarine where it hurts” and that it had no chance of working.Musk responded on Twitter, calling Unsworth a “pedo guy” and adding: “Never saw this British expat guy who lives in Thailand (sus) at any point when we were in the caves.” Sus -- meaning suspect, or suspicious.Later, he asked why Unsworth hadn’t sued him. Musk also hired a private investigator to dig into Unsworth’s personal life and leak information to British tabloids.Unsworth, a financial consultant who divides his time between England and Thailand, described to the jury the effect the tweet had on him.“When you combine ‘sus’ and ‘pedo guy,’ I took it as I was being branded a pedophile,” Unsworth said on Wednesday. “I feel vulnerable and sometimes, when I’m in the U.K., I feel isolated.”490 StoriesIt was a tweet heard around the world. An expert witness for Unsworth told the jury that 490 English-language stories were published mentioning the “pedo guy” tweet -- not including stories about the litigation.Musk, who had apologized to Unsworth on Twitter, did so again in court. But Unsworth told the jury he had nothing to apologize for to Musk.Musk told the jury he found Unsworth’s comments in the CNN interview wrong and insulting -- especially to his team which he said worked hard to help in the rescue effort -- and so he fired back.“I thought he was just some random, creepy guy that the media interviewed,” Musk said of Unsworth.Neither man impressed Shusterman, the juror. He said there was no need for Unsworth to put down Musk’s mini submarine, and Musk’s response was equally immature.“I felt it was like two junior high school students fighting,” Shusterman said.(Updates with juror’s comment in third paragraph)To contact the reporters on this story: Edvard Pettersson in Los Angeles at epettersson@bloomberg.net;Kelly Gilblom in London at kgilblom@bloomberg.net;Dana Hull in San Francisco at dhull12@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Craig Trudell at ctrudell1@bloomberg.net, Joe Schneider, Steve StrothFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Teflon Musk Wins Again With Escape From Defamation Firestorm

    (Bloomberg) -- Even before the verdict came in Friday, Elon Musk had earned the sobriquet Teflon Man on Twitter.Once a jury decided that he hadn’t defamed a British man by calling him a “pedo guy” in a post on the social media platform -- Musk’s favorite -- his reputation as a controversy-stirring billionaire who escapes relatively unscathed from the firestorms he creates for himself seemed to be sealed.Dan Ives, a Wedbush Securities analyst who covers Tesla Inc., one of Musk’s companies, repeated it: “Right now he’s the Teflon man.” But, Ives added, “it’s a cautionary tale and hopefully situations like this don’t repeat.”There have been more than a few of those already for Musk, who is chief executive officer of Tesla and chairman and CEO of SpaceX. His boards have tolerated them, his fans love him all the more for his antics and investors don’t seem to mind. Tesla shares have rallied more than 60% in the past six months.The defamation lawsuit “was the last formal distraction from when Elon Musk went off the Twitter rails in 2018,” said Gene Munster of Loup Ventures.Even with the positive outcome for Musk, it remains a highly unusual case for a CEO.In July 2018, as the world was riveted by efforts to save a Thai youth soccer team stuck in a flooded cave, Musk’s engineers tried to help by making a mini submarine out of rocket parts. Vernon Unsworth, an expert caver instrumental in the rescue, told CNN that the mini-sub was little more than a publicity stunt. Musk fired off the “pedo guy” tweet -- and hired a private investigator to dig into Unsworth’s personal life and leak information to British tabloids.From there, Musk seemed to lurch from crisis to crisis -- and emerged each time with relatively mild consequences. Another Twitter post in August 2018 got him into hot water with the Securities and Exchange Commission; the agency sued him for securities fraud because he said he was taking Tesla private at $420 a share and had “funding secured,” which he in fact did not. (Tesla is still a public company, by the way.)His settlement with the SEC cost him $20 million and stripped him of his board chairmanship for three years, but he kept running the company as before anyway.Then there was the famous pot-smoking episode on Joe Rogan’s popular podcast in September 2018. Photos of Musk puffing on a cigar-sized joint went viral in a case of unfortunate optics for SpaceX, which has a contract with NASA to fly astronauts to the International Space Station. Musk later acknowledged in an email to SpaceX employee that the stunt was “not wise.”Musk was back in the SEC’s sights this February with a Twitter post about Tesla production figures that the agency contended violated the settlement agreement. A judge declined the SEC’s request to hold Musk in contempt and told both sides to “put on your reasonableness pants” and work something out. They did, amending the original deal to include specific topics that Musk can’t tweet about without prior approval from a Tesla lawyer.On the highly active Twitterverse of Tesla watchers, Friday’s outcome brought a mix of condemnation and applause -- as well as marveling that Teflon Musk had struck again.Lin Wood, Unsworth’s attorney, had his own take: “Goliath wins almost every time.”To contact the reporter on this story: Dana Hull in San Francisco at dhull12@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Craig Trudell at ctrudell1@bloomberg.net, Anne Reifenberg, Kara WetzelFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Elon Musk found not liable in case brought against him by British diver
    TechCrunch

    Elon Musk found not liable in case brought against him by British diver

    After a three-day trial, Elon Musk was found not liable for defamation in a federal court today in Los Angeles, where Musk reportedly owns a cluster of six homes as well as oversees the operations of both SpaceX and Tesla. British diver Vernon Unsworth had brought the suit against Musk in the fall of 2018 after Musk tweeted that Unsworth was a "pedo guy," meaning a pedophile. Why: after Musk and his employees developed what they called a mini-submarine or escape pod to save a children's soccer team from a flooded cave in Thailand in July of 2018, Unsworth -- a stranger to Musk and an experienced diver with specific knowledge of the cave -- called the production a "PR stunt" when asked about the effort in an interview with CNN.

  • Tesla Inc boss Elon Musk wins defamation trial over 'pedo guy' tweet
    Reuters

    Tesla Inc boss Elon Musk wins defamation trial over 'pedo guy' tweet

    A U.S. District Court jury in Los Angeles on Friday found in favour of Tesla Inc boss Elon Musk in the defamation lawsuit brought against him by a British cave explorer who Musk had branded a "pedo guy" on Twitter. The plaintiff, Vernon Unsworth, was seeking $190 million (£148 million) damages against Musk, who during the trial estimated his net worth at $20 billion.

  • Bloomberg

    British Cave Expert Seeks $190 Million in Damages From Musk

    (Bloomberg) -- Elon Musk should pay $190 million in damages to a British cave expert who claims he was defamed by the chief executive of Tesla Inc. in a tweet, the caver’s lawyer told a jury at the end of a trial in Los Angeles.A jury of five women and three men will decide the issue. Before the panel began deliberating, shortly after 1 p.m. in Los Angeles, standing next to the defense table where Musk was seated, L. Lin Wood told them: “Elon Musk is a liar.”Wood asked the jury to award $5 million in actual damages, $35 million in assumed damages and $150 million in punitive damages.Musk called Vernon Unsworth a “pedo guy” in a tweet, responding to an interview the caver gave on television in which he criticized Musk’s effort to use a miniature submarine to rescue members of a soccer team trapped in a Thai cave in 2018.Musk had argued “pedo guy” actually meant “creepy old man,” but Wood said Musk knows that’s not true.“He dropped a bomb on this man,” Wood told the jury, as a tight-lipped Musk glared at the lawyer.Musk’s lawyer Alex Spiro said in his closing argument that Unsworth hadn’t provided any evidence showing he was harmed by the tweets. Although he claimed on the stand to have suffered emotional damage from being a called a pedophile, Spiro said nobody believed he was accused of the crime.Spiro also argued that there had been no independent confirmation that Unsworth suffered emotionally. Unsworth’s Thai companion, Tik, was the only one who noticed when he had a “bad day,” the caver told the jury. But Tik never testified.“Tik’s been with him through this whole thing,” Spiro said. “Where’s Tik?”(Updates with Musk’s lawyer)To contact the reporters on this story: Edvard Pettersson in Los Angeles at epettersson@bloomberg.net;Dana Hull in San Francisco at dhull12@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Glovin at dglovin@bloomberg.net, Joe Schneider, Steve StrothFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    US STOCKS-Wall Street climbs on solid jobs data, trade hopes

    Wall Street ended solidly higher on Friday as a strong jobs report and optimism about U.S.-China trade negotiations ahead of an upcoming deadline helped stoke investor risk appetite. The Dow and the Nasdaq ended the session down from last Friday's close. "This type of report shows underlying economic strength, and it gives corporate management confidence in the strength of the economy," said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment strategist at Inverness Counsel in New York.

  • Morgan Stanley: Tesla Stock Could Hit $500
    Oilprice.com

    Morgan Stanley: Tesla Stock Could Hit $500

    Tesla’s share price could soar to $500 if the company manages to both get its Gigafactory to perform and sell a lot of cybertrucks

  • Stocks - Tesla, Crowdstrike Rise Premarket; Uber, Zoom Video Fall
    Investing.com

    Stocks - Tesla, Crowdstrike Rise Premarket; Uber, Zoom Video Fall

    Investing.com -- Stocks in focus in premarket trade on Friday, 6th December.

  • Autonomous Vehicles Aim New Highs With Driverless Tests
    Zacks

    Autonomous Vehicles Aim New Highs With Driverless Tests

    Alibaba (BABA)-backed AutoX applies for testing its self-driving vehicles, without in-car driver backup, thereby stirring competition in the autonomous-vehicle tech space.

  • Tesla boss Elon Musk wins defamation trial over his 'pedo guy' tweet
    Reuters

    Tesla boss Elon Musk wins defamation trial over his 'pedo guy' tweet

    Tesla Inc boss Elon Musk emerged victorious on Friday from a closely watched defamation trial as a federal court jury swiftly rejected the $190 million claim brought against him by a British cave explorer who Musk had branded a "pedo guy" on Twitter. The unanimous verdict by a panel of five women and three men was returned after roughly 45 minutes of deliberation on the fourth day of Musk's trial. Legal experts believe it was the first major defamation lawsuit brought by a private individual over remarks on Twitter to be decided by a jury.

  • China-built Tesla cars secure new energy vehicle subsidies
    Reuters

    China-built Tesla cars secure new energy vehicle subsidies

    Tesla Inc said on Friday its Chinese-built Model 3 cars would receive state subsidies, a move that will help the U.S. electric vehicle maker's push into the world's biggest auto market. China's industry ministry had earlier said Tesla's Model 3 cars, being built at its $2 billion factory in Shanghai, were on a list recommended for subsidies for new energy vehicles (NEVs), which include plug-in hybrids, battery-only electric vehicles and those powered by hydrogen fuel cells. Tesla said in a statement the subsidies had been secured.

  • Tesla’s Made-in-China Cars to Qualify for Subsidies There
    Bloomberg

    Tesla’s Made-in-China Cars to Qualify for Subsidies There

    (Bloomberg) -- Tesla Inc.’s made-in-China sedans qualified to receive subsidies in the country, a potential boon for Elon Musk’s carmaker as it prepares to start selling locally-built models in the world’s biggest market for electric vehicles.The company’s Model 3 sedan was included in a list of qualified models published by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology Friday. That means buyers will get a subsidy of as much as about 25,000 yuan ($3,550) from the government. Tesla said in October the vehicles will be priced from about $50,000 in China.The company has said it’s planning to start delivering made-in-China Model 3 cars before late January as it nears the start of mass production at its new Shanghai plant, its first outside the U.S.A Tesla representative in China also confirmed the company’s locally built vehicles have been approved for subsidies. While the government has been scaling back electric-vehicle handouts, certain support measures still exist as the country seeks to move toward cleaner energy and reduce reliance on imported oil.The China plant will be a crucial test for Musk as he seeks to prove the carmaker can sustain profitability. The Shanghai Gigafactory, which broke ground in January, will initially build Model 3 sedans that will compete with electric cars from local contenders such as NIO Inc. and Xpeng Motors, as well as global manufacturers including BMW AG and Daimler AG.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Chunying Zhang in Shanghai at czhang714@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at ycho2@bloomberg.net, Ville Heiskanen, Reed StevensonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Tesla (TSLA) Stock Sinks As Market Gains: What You Should Know
    Zacks

    Tesla (TSLA) Stock Sinks As Market Gains: What You Should Know

    Tesla (TSLA) closed at $330.37 in the latest trading session, marking a -0.8% move from the prior day.

  • Bloomberg

    Tesla May Pop 50% If China, Cybertrucks Succeed, Analyst Says

    (Bloomberg) -- Tesla Inc. shares may rise to as much as $500 if its Cybertruck becomes a success and sales in China pick up pace, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas wrote in a note to clients on Thursday, boosting his bull case for the stock.The analyst raised his most optimistic scenario to $500 from $440 per share, saying it reflected $20 from the new pickup truck that was unveiled on Nov. 21 and $40 from incremental volume and profit in China.Jonas assumed the company will be able to sell 100,000 Cybertrucks by the end of 2024 at an average price of $50,000 and Ebitda margins of 20%.Since Elon Musk has said on Twitter that the truck currently has 250,000 pre-orders, Jonas’s assumption implies that roughly 40% of those would translate to an actual sale by 2024. “We believe this is a fairly optimistic assumption, given that a pre-order only requires a $100 refundable deposit,” Jonas wrote. The analyst’s base case assumption does not include the Cybertruck.For China, Morgan Stanley assumed 200,000 Tesla units in incremental volume, with revenue of $40,000 per unit.However, even with the new-found optimism, Jonas maintained his 12-month, $250 price target and hold-equivalent rating on the stock, which assumes 24% downside from the electric-vehicle maker’s Thursday closing price in New York. His caution is derived from the perception that in the longer term, Tesla could be perceived by the market as a traditional automaker. “We are prepared for a potential surge in sentiment through first half of 2020, but question the sustainability,” he added.To contact the reporter on this story: Esha Dey in New York at edey@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brad Olesen at bolesen3@bloomberg.net, Drew SingerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • No apology to Elon Musk from British diver at 'pedo guy' defamation trial
    Reuters

    No apology to Elon Musk from British diver at 'pedo guy' defamation trial

    The British cave explorer suing Elon Musk for calling him a "pedo guy" on Twitter testified on Thursday that his criticism of the Tesla Inc chief executive that led to the tweet was not a personal attack. "My insult was to the tube and not to Mr. Musk personally," Unsworth said while being cross-examined by Bill Price, one of Musk's lawyers.

  • Tesla Competitor NIO Launches Another SUV in China
    Bloomberg

    Tesla Competitor NIO Launches Another SUV in China

    (Bloomberg) -- Cash-strapped electric-car upstart NIO Inc. is introducing its third sport utility vehicle, a streamlined model aimed at spurring demand in China’s slowing EV market.NIO didn’t disclose the price for the electric SUV coupe, which comes with a panoramic-view window and is set to compete against vehicles such as the Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe and Tesla Inc.’s Model Y. NIO’s existing models are the ES8 and ES6 SUVs, and the EP9 performance car.“Coupes fall in a niche market in China and it’s really hard to position this kind of product,” said Yale Zhang, managing director of Shanghai-based consultancy AutoForesight. “But if they only aim at selling hundreds of cars a month, it should be fine.”The unprofitable carmaker is battling an unprecedented slump in Chinese auto sales, including electric vehicles, as the country’s economy cools. The company also faces intensifying competition from the likes of Tesla and Daimler AG just as some investors scrutinize its funding situation.Backed by technology giant Tencent Holdings Ltd., NIO sought $200 million from founder William Li and a Tencent affiliate -- though hasn’t clarified whether the investment has been completed -- and has also reduced its workforce. U.S. shares of NIO have dropped more than 60% since the company’s initial public offering in New York last year.By the end of the third quarter, NIO had cut its staff to 7,800 from 9,900 in January. Having burned through more than $5 billion in four years, the company failed in an attempt to get local government funding, according to media reports.China’s EV sales have slumped for four consecutive months, while the overall auto market is down in 16 of the 17 past months. That’s impacting fundraising for EV startups in China, according to rival XPeng Motor. China is raising its 2025 sales target for electrified cars as the government tries to spur the industry.(Updates with government sales target in seventh paragraph)To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Chunying Zhang in Shanghai at czhang714@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at ycho2@bloomberg.net, Ville Heiskanen, Angus WhitleyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Musk Tells Jury He’s Worth $20 Billion, But Is Short on Cash
    Bloomberg

    Musk Tells Jury He’s Worth $20 Billion, But Is Short on Cash

    (Bloomberg) -- Elon Musk says he doesn’t have a lot of cash.Musk’s wealth came up in the second day of his testimony before a federal jury in Los Angeles where the Tesla Inc. and SpaceX chief executive is on trial over a tweet in which he referred to a British cave expert as a “pedo guy.”After an unsuccessful objection from his lawyer, Musk told the jury he has Tesla stock, and SpaceX stock, with debt against those holdings, and his net worth is about $20 billion. But contrary to public opinion, he said, he didn’t have much cash. Musk finished testifying after a total of about six hours on the stand over two days.Caver Vernon Unsworth sued Musk over the “pedo guy” tweet, which the CEO called “a flippant, off-the-cuff insult.” Musk said he was responding to Unsworth’s criticism of Musk’s effort to help rescue members of a Thai soccer team from a flooded cave in 2018. Musk and engineers at his companies prepared a mini submarine to help with the rescue efforts. The 12 kids,aged 11 to 16, and their coach were ultimately saved without the sub.Usnworth, who knew the caves well, ridiculed the high-profile effort from Musk. He told CNN that Musk could “stick his submarine where it hurts” and called the idea a PR stunt with no chance of working.That angered Musk, who said a team of engineers worked very hard to build the sub to save the boys. He said Unsworth’s comments denigrated the efforts of his team.Thai rescue officials were “very happy” with his team’s effort and the government thanked him for it, Musk said, contradicting Unsworth’s comments in the CNN interview.Musk also explained to the jury his penchant to tweet. (He retweeted a Tesla post during a break in his testimony.)Musk said he likes to solicit public input on Twitter.“There are pretty smart people out there,” Musk said.Despite Musk’s status as one of the richest people on the planet, his net worth is largely illiquid.The Bloomberg Billionaires Index puts his fortune at $26.6 billion. That comprises an estimated $14.6 billion stake in SpaceX. Musk has said previously he doesn’t intend to sell any of his holdings in the closely held company.Musk has also long been a buyer of Tesla shares to bolster his $11.4 billion holding.He’s pledged about 40% of his Tesla shares to unlock some of the wealth without shrinking his stake. A May filing revealed that he had access to about $500 million of credit lines from affiliates of Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America as of April 30. Still, that’s a fraction of his $26.6 billion overall fortune on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index and it’s unclear how much of those credit lines remain unused.Musk’s wealth is an issue at the trial because a jury may consider evidence of his net worth in determining punitive damages. But Musk’s lawyers argued in court papers that the jury can’t award more in punitive damages than in compensatory damages. There is no way the jury would award more than $1 billion in compensation, so Musk’s net worth exceeding that isn’t relevant, the lawyers said.In his testimony, Musk cited his mother as having some good advice, that Unsworth might want to follow.“As my mom said, if somebody insults you, just let it go,” Musk said.In September, Musk revealed in court documents that one of his trustedaides, Jared Birchall, paid $50,000 to hire a private investigator who looked into Unsworth. Attorneys for Unsworth said the investigator was offered a $10,000 bonus if he was able to confirm nefarious behavior -- which was never paid.Birchall worked at Morgan Stanley until 2016 and is the manager of Excession LLC, Musk’s family office.He took the stand after Musk.Birchall testified he hired James Howard, who later turned out to be a conman.After Howard came up with what later turned out to be fake dirt on Unsworth, such as that he had been visiting Thailand since the 1980s and that he met his wife when she was a teenager, Birchall, using the name James Brickhouse, told Howard to leak the information to media in the U.K.“I believed him to be a credible investigator,” Birchall told the jury. “I understood these things to be facts. I asked him to share facts.”Musk also enlisted help from a second investigator at the Palo Alto, California-based law firm Cooley LLP. Cooley didn’t respond to a request for comment.The case is Unsworth v. Musk, 18-cv-08048, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).(Updates with Birchall testimony.)To contact the reporters on this story: Dana Hull in San Francisco at dhull12@bloomberg.net;Edvard Pettersson in Los Angeles at epettersson@bloomberg.net;Tom Metcalf in London at tmetcalf7@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Craig Trudell at ctrudell1@bloomberg.net, Joe Schneider, Peter BlumbergFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    UPDATE 5-British cave explorer felt 'branded a pedophile' by Elon Musk tweet

    The British cave explorer suing Elon Musk testified on Wednesday he felt "branded a pedophile" by the billionaire entrepreneur, despite Musk's assertion that his "pedo guy" tweet at the heart of the defamation case was not meant to be taken literally. Vernon Unsworth, seeking unspecified damages in his lawsuit against Musk, took the witness stand on the second day of a trial stemming from their public squabble over last year's rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave in Thailand. Unsworth's appearance in a packed federal courtroom in Los Angeles came hours after Musk, the chief executive of electric carmaker Tesla Inc and founder of rocket company SpaceX, concluded two days of testimony seeking to minimize his tweets as offhand comments.

  • Twitter’s Rare Pitch to Junk Market: Profitable Tech Issuer
    Bloomberg

    Twitter’s Rare Pitch to Junk Market: Profitable Tech Issuer

    (Bloomberg) -- As it prepares its debut in the junk-bond market, Twitter Inc. is employing a strategy that looks downright quaint for a high-flying technology firm: making money.The social media company, which posted $856 million of free cash flow last year, can expect to be rewarded for its prudence. It garnered credit ratings in the top tier of high-yield and is marketing its $600 million deal at a yield of around 4.5%, more than a percentage point lower than average for speculative-grade debt.Its approach stands in contrast to companies like WeWork and Tesla Inc., both of which issued junk bonds while burning cash and have seen their notes underperform. Even Netflix Inc., which has become something of a bond-market darling after issuing billions of dollars of debt to help fund new programming, isn’t cash-flow positive.Twitter’s financial profile may not resemble some of its cash-burning peers, but it does emulate the kind of company investors have been most eager to lend to this year amid fears of a broad economic downturn. Jittery debt buyers have helped notes issued by the highest-quality junk borrowers return some 14%, outperforming riskier securities like CCC rated debt.“It’s an up-in-quality trade across all asset classes,” said John McClain, a high-yield portfolio manager at Diamond Hill Capital Management. “Nobody wants to be caught with their hand in the cookie jar. This is the cookie jar moment.”Twitter’s previous forays into debt markets have primarily been via convertible notes, a type of hybrid security that pays interest, like bonds, but can be exchanged for stock after a company’s shares rise above an agreed-upon price.Historically they’ve been popular with fast-growing technology companies that may lack the credit grades necessary to drum up support in traditional debt markets. Tesla was also a convertible issuer before it debuted in the junk-bond market.Unlike equity investors that typically prioritize a company’s growth, bondholders care most about getting paid back, and are therefore often wary of lending to cash-burning companies.Yet a relentless demand for higher yielding assets in recent years has allowed more and more money-losing firms to access debt financing, led by Netflix. The company has become a regular issuer in the U.S. and European markets, benefiting from investor confidence that it will ultimately become cash-flow positive as it pares back spending on new programming. That’s helped push the company’s debt above par.Newer technology issuers hoping to replicate Netflix’s approach have had varying levels of success. Tesla sold bonds in 2017 to ferocious demand, only to see the debt sink to as low as 81 cents on the dollar as investors fretted that the electric carmaker couldn’t find a sustained path to profitability. The notes have rallied to around 96 cents after the company posted two consecutive quarters of positive cash flow.Uber Technologies Inc. has fared better, having tapped the high-yield market twice despite failing to regularly post a profit. Both of those offerings trade around or above par. Meanwhile, WeWork has become something of a worst-case scenario for debt investors. Its $669 million of junk bonds trade at distressed levels after the company canceled its planned initial public offering and teetered on the brink of insolvency before accepting a bailout package from backer SoftBank Group Corp.Investors eyeing the Twitter deal have to assess whether the company can garner Netflix-like traction in the bond market, or if its short history of growth and positive cash flow could quickly reverse.Moody’s Investors Service analyst Neil Begley, who rated the deal the second-highest junk grade, said in a statement that the company has demonstrated “strong revenue growth and free cash flow generation,” but cautioned that “Twitter is small relative to its larger digital advertising and social networking competitors, and user engagement on social networks can be fickle.”Even some higher-rated, cash-generating technology companies have stumbled. Food delivery platform GrubHub Inc. sold a debut bond in June to enough demand that it increased the size of the offering. But since issuing the debt, it’s struggled to deal with slower growth amid fierce competition in the industry. S&P Global Ratings downgraded the notes in October, and they now trade at about 92 cents on the dollar, down from as high as 105 three months ago.“When you engage with the high-yield market, you have to have positive Ebitda and at least a path to cash flow breakeven to even have a discussion,” said John Yovanovic, global head of high-yield at PineBridge Investments, referring to the widely followed metric of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. “We’ll approach this one with the scars we learned from GrubHub of what could happen.”(Adds GrubHub bond-price comparison in penultimate paragraph)\--With assistance from Paula Seligson.To contact the reporters on this story: Claire Boston in New York at cboston6@bloomberg.net;Molly Smith in New York at msmith604@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nikolaj Gammeltoft at ngammeltoft@bloomberg.net, Boris Korby, Natalie HarrisonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • British cave explorer felt 'branded a pedophile' by Elon Musk tweet
    Reuters

    British cave explorer felt 'branded a pedophile' by Elon Musk tweet

    The British cave explorer suing Elon Musk testified on Wednesday he felt "branded a pedophile" by the billionaire entrepreneur, despite Musk's assertion that his "pedo guy" tweet at the heart of the defamation case was not meant to be taken literally. Vernon Unsworth, seeking unspecified damages in his lawsuit against Musk, took the witness stand on the second day of a trial stemming from their public squabble over last year's rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave in Thailand. Unsworth's appearance in a packed federal courtroom in Los Angeles came hours after Musk, the chief executive of electric carmaker Tesla Inc and founder of rocket company SpaceX, concluded two days of testimony seeking to minimize his tweets as offhand comments.

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