Elon Musk tells shorts on Twitter they have 3 weeks to cover before losing their money

Key Points
  • Over the weekend, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that investors shorting the stock have "about three weeks before their short position explodes."
  • Tesla stock has rallied about 20 percent since its annual shareholder's meeting on June 5, where Musk promised profitability in the third quarter.
Ray Tamarra | Getty Images

Tesla CEO and chairman Elon Musk went after shorts on Twitter over the weekend. He generally warned investors selling his electric vehicle venture short that they have about 3 weeks to cover if they don't want to lose their money.

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Tesla stock has rallied more than 20 percent since the company's early June annual shareholder meeting at which Chairman and CEO Elon Musk promised profitability in the third quarter, and trended more than 4 percent higher through last week after Tesla announced layoffs on Tuesday June 12th. Last week, Elon Musk bought around 72,000 Tesla shares, spending nearly $25 million to do so.

Shares opened on Monday at $355.20 and notched up in mid-day trading. During the same week last year, Tesla shares were trading 5.6 percent higher at $375.

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The electric vehicle maker is in the midst of a broad restructuring. It is also pushing workers to hit a vehicle production rate of 5,000 Model 3s per week, and to become profitable, by the end of this quarter. In about 3 weeks, Tesla is expected to make a report on whether or not it hit those manufacturing goals.

Over the weekend, Musk also questioned one individual with a pseudonymous profile, TeslaCharts, directly. This person has a stated mission to "unabashedly serve the confirmation bias of #Tesla bears," and publishes infographics via their Twitter account which illustrate the rationale for shorting Tesla.

For example, TeslaCharts regularly posts line graphs that compare the stock price of Tesla now, and Enron in the quarters leading up to its demise.

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Musk asked TeslaCharts' author, "How big is your short position? Just curious." The person replied that they have a modest short position, and are running their Twitter account as something of a social media experiment.

Musk, who declined to answer sell-side analyst questions on his last quarterly earnings call, said the only reason he inquired about the person's short position was because he didn't "want to see anyone lose their money."

Here's the beginning of the exchange; click through to see the whole thing:

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Tesla declined comment on Musk's tweets.