Илон Маск открывает завод во Фремонте. Что напрямую противоречит директивам местных властей. Отдельным твитом он попросил, чтобы в случае чего арестовали только его. Поддержка у него весьма крепкая в Вашингтоне.
Tesla's Elon Musk is reopening his company's flagship Fremont, Calif. , plant, ignoring local stay-at-home orders. It might be a risky move for the CEO personally, but investors would be wise to look past reopening headlines and the confusing drama when thinking about Tesla stock.
The facility has been shut for weeks, a step taken to help slow the spread of Covid-19. Tesla (ticker: TSLA), to this point, has been in the same situation as other auto makers, but now Musk is eager to restart as the rest of the country, and the rest of the auto industry, slowly reopens, while local officials in Alameda County plan to keep their stay- at-home order in place through the end of May.
The situation started to chafe the CEO weeks ago. Musk addressed it on the company's recent earnings conference call: "But to say that [people] cannot leave their house, and they will be arrested if they do, this is fascist. This is not democratic. This is not freedom. Give people back their goddamn freedom."
Several tweets have followed from Musk, including one threatening a lawsuit. The latest asks the local police to arrest him if anyone is arrested in connection with the facility reopening.
Alameda County might not be happy with Musk's decision. On Monday, the country directed Barron's to a Saturday statement saying officials were working with Tesla and that it was important not to give back gains made in fighting the virus. They didn't respond to requests for additional comment.
Musk appears to have some support at other levels of government.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom addressed the Tesla situation on Monday saying he has been "long been a strong advocate and supporter" of Tesla and has "great expectations" the situation can be worked out.
Musk's support goes higher up. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC he agreed with Musk.
Telsa stock was up 1.4% in premarket trading following all the reopening news. Tesla investors are ignoring the drama, and for some good reasons.
"It's wild," Wedbush analyst Dan Ives tells Barron's. "Most investors didn't expect opening until late May." Opening sooner, for Ives, means less cash burned through while assets sit idle. That' s a positive for the stock.
Ives added, though, that defying the local order takes the standoff "to a whole different level." No one is sure what penalties Tesla or Musk might face from the move. Tesla didn't respond to a request for comment.
If all that wasn't enough, Texas commented on the situation, too. Hidalgo County in the Lone Star State weighed in on Monday, saying the county no longer has a stay-at-home mandate and is "immediately available" to accommodate "you and Tesla Motors ."
Ives is correct. The situation is wild. When the dust settles, people will learn who had the authority to close and reopen the factory.
Year to date, Tesla shares are up about 94%, while both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 have fallen over the same span. Since Tesla's first-quarter earnings report, after the market closed on April 29 , when Musk's agitation first appeared shares are up about $11 , or 1.4%. The S&P is down slightly over the same, post-earnings, span.
Write to Al Root at allen.root