Will the SEC come for Elon Musk?December 13, 2012: 3:22 PM ET
Is Tesla's Elon Musk going to be in trouble for a tweet?
Could Tesla Motors (TSLA) boss Elon Musk be next? This is what he tweeted last Monday:
Am happy to report that Tesla was narrowly cash flow positive last week. Continued improvement expected through year end.—
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 04, 2012
This appears to have been the first time that such information was disclosed, and it was not retweeted on Tesla's official Twitter feed. I also cannot find any mention of it on Tesla's investor relations page, nor in its filings with the Securities & Exchange Commission. And, for the record, it also does not appear on Tesla's Facebook page.
Musk was asked about the tweet this morning on CNBC, where he was appearing to discuss the initial public offering for SolarCity (SCTY), where he serves as chairman. Here was his reply:
"I don't know. I think it's hard to say that if you have a couple hundred thousand followers on Twitter, or something on that order, including the press. And it's done after hours and you follow up with investors and you do multiple channels, which is what we did, it wasn't just a Tweet – maybe people aren't aware of that – I don't think there is any selective distribution of information. I think that would be a bit of an inaccurate mischaracterization."
As I wrote above, I have no idea what Musk is referring to in terms of "multiple channels." I'm also unclear as to how the company did "follow up with investors." Maybe its IR people called some of the larger holders, but how would it identify the countless number of small investors, let alone contact them?
So I rang up a Tesla spokeswoman. She didn't have immediate answers, but promised to circle back. I'll update this post when she does.
UPDATE: Tesla's spokeswoman got back to me last night, saying the company has no comment.
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