- Short-seller Fraser Perring, who bet against Wirecard, said he’s taking a position against Tesla again.
- He tweeted the electric-car maker’s valuation seems out of kilter with those for Toyota and Volkswagen.
- Tesla has been the scourge of short sellers, however, as its stock has soared in recent years.
A short-seller who was an early critic of Germany payments company Wirecard has revealed he’s betting against Tesla again, saying the electric-car maker’s valuation is out of kilter with the rest of the market.
Fraser Perring, the founder of Viceroy Research, tweeted Wednesday: “Are Toyota and VW undervalued or is Tesla overpriced? Tesla’s quality and [full self-driving technology] will be measured by the consumers. I’m short again.”
Perring’s announcement comes after Tesla stock soared 13.5% Monday, the first day of trading in 2022, on the back of strong fourth-quarter delivery figures. Short selling is when investors borrow and sell stock in the hope that its price will go down.
Tesla has since given up some gains to trade at around $1,163 on Wednesday. Its price is up more than 50% over the last year, and more than 2,400% over the last five years.
The Elon Musk-led company is now by far the most valuable carmaker in the world, despite being far behind others in terms of profits and production.
Its market capitalization of more than $1.1 trillion far outstrips the next most valuable carmakers, Toyota and Volkswagen, which are worth around $280 billion and $140 billion respectively.
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Yet Toyota and Volkswagen make much more money and sell many more cars. Toyota and VW both shifted around 2 million units in their latest confirmed quarter, according to Bloomberg data, compared with Tesla’s delivery of 309,000 cars.
Tesla is a notoriously tough target. Carson Block of Muddy Waters bought puts in Tesla in 2019, funded by the car company’s bond coupons, but they later expired. He warned investors in 2020 that shorting the company was a bad idea.
Musk has personally hit out at short-sellers in the past. He has previously said the activity should be illegal.
This article has been amended to clarify that Carson Block’s Muddy Waters held a put position in Tesla, which later expired, rather than a short position.