A former equities CIO of Goldman Sachs drew an strong response on Twitter after suggesting Tesla should sell its Bitcoin and buy back company shares.
The price of TSLA shares have fallen 28% from $863.42 to $621.44, since news broke on Feb. 8 that Tesla had made a $1.5 billion BTC acquisition.
MicroStrategy’s shares have fared even worse in the short term. The company, which is headed by Bitcoin bull Michael Saylor and just completed its latest acquisition of $15 million in BTC on Mar. 3, is now down 50% from its all-time high of $1,315 from Feb. 9.
Tesla’s share market woes are likely due to a number of factors. In early February, it was reported that Tesla had been reprimanded by the Chinese government over quality control issues after receiving consumer complaints. The broader stock market has also experienced volatility, with the S&P 500 down 4.1% in the last 30 days.
But the tweet from longtime Tesla analyst Gary Black, who has several decades of financial management experience, sparked a debate on whether Tesla’s purchase of $1.5 billion in Bitcoin last month had benefited investors.
Tesla stock is now down 28% since buying #Bitcoin as investors signal to @ElonMusk that $1.5 billion was not enough.
— Documenting Bitcoin (@DocumentingBTC) March 4, 2021
“I don’t want them buying back stock,” said Twitter user Techgnostik. “I want them investing in growth, and making another billion on their BTC position.”
Black countered by suggesting TSLA would also draw inclusion by more fund managers with a share buyback program, considering it of greater value to the investor than buying BTC “with excess cash.”
Some users on Twitter agreed that a stock buyback seemed to be a more appropriate use of funds, while others felt too much attention was being paid to what Tesla did with 8% of their cash reserves.
.@Tesla’s mission is to “accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.” It is not about catering to the mercurial whims of short-term traders in $TSLA.https://t.co/93hr25iJ27 https://t.co/eJReXuvPo4
— AMuchBetterFace (@AMuchBetterFace) March 4, 2021
It’s not easy to ascertain the impact buying Bitcoin has had on a company’s bottom line. While MicroStrategy’s share price has halved in a month, shares of MSTR are still up 340%, (from $146.63 to $645.66), since the company announced its first purchase of 21,454 BTC on Aug. 11, 2020. The price of BTC is currently up 310% from the same date.