David is a tech journalist who loves old-school adventure games, techno and the Beastie Boys. He's currently on the finance beat. David is a tech journalist who loves old-school adventure games, techno and the Beastie Boys. He's currently on the finance beat.
Tesla’s stock surged more than 7% to clear $1,000 per share for the very first time during trade Wednesday, following the reveal of an internal memo that signalled increased production of its electric Semi trucks.
“It’s time to go all out and bring the Tesla Semi to volume production,” said chief exec Elon Musk in the memo, which was first reported by CNBC.
[Read: Bitcoin has returned more profit than every top-tier tech ETF this year]
“It’s been in limited production so far, which has allowed us to improve many aspects of the design. Production of the battery and powertrain would take place at Giga Nevada, with most of the other work probably occurring in other states,” added Musk.
The back of the envelope math for Tesla at $1,000
Hitting four digits is surely a milestone for Tesla, and few are likely happier than company founder Musk. After all, Tesla stock makes up a huge percentage of his net worth, meaning Musk gets considerably richer every time $TSLA pumps.
There’s also another effect of that magic $1,000 value, at least for today: it’s likely to make Musk richer than China’s richest man Jack Ma, with whom Musk infamously shared a stage to discuss the risks and rewards of artificial intelligence in Shanghai last year (a much simpler time).
According to Tesla’s latest SEC disclosure, Musk sits on 34,098,597 Tesla shares. Yesterday, Tesla stock closed at $940.67, valuing Musk’s stock at just over $32 billion.
When the markets closed yesterday, Forbes placed Ma and Musk as the 22nd and 23rd richest billionaires in the world, and valued Ma at $44.1 billion and Musk at $42.9 billion — just $1.2 billion between them.
At $1,000 each, Musk’s stock is worth more than $34 billion. Indeed, $TSLA closing above $1,000 today would earn Musk a hand-munching $2 billion in just a matter of hours. If Ma’s fortune stays relatively flat, Musk would easily overtake Alibaba’s Ma later today.
Billionaire pissing contests aside, Musk is also likely eyeing off the second tranche of his epic Tesla compensation package, which grants the option of buying hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Tesla stock for cheap.
Make no mistake: when Tesla’s number goes up, big things happen for Musk.
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