“Investors would be benefit if there were less communications,” the billionaire founder of Baron Capital said.
Baron’s appearance on “Squawk Box” was his first since Musk’s erratic behavior over the summer culminated in a weekend settlement with the SEC over the CEO’s aborted bid to take the company private.
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Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Musk with making false and misleading statements in an Aug. 7 tweet about potentially taking Tesla private with “funding secured.” The take-private idea was abandoned on Aug. 24.
As part of Saturday’s settlement, Musk will personally pay a $20 million fine, and Tesla will also pay $20 million. The billionaire entrepreneur will step down as chairman of the board for at least three years. Tesla will to appoint two new independent directors to the board, and institute sweeping governance changes.
On Sunday, Musk sent emails to Tesla staff, saying “ignore all distractions” and “we are very close to achieving profitability and proving the naysayers wrong.” Musk has been dealing with production problems on the Model 3.
Tesla is expected to report its latest vehicle production and deliveries numbers this week. According to the electric car blog Electrek, Tesla made about 80,000 vehicles in the past three months.
That number includes 53,000 Model 3 sedans, squarely within Tesla’s goal of producing between 50,000 and 55,000 of the less expensive car that’s aimed at the mass market auto buyer.
Baron has been an unwavering Tesla bull, telling CNBC in May that he exepcts to make 20 times his money on the stock. “The opportunity is so enormous,” he said at the time.
But since then, Tesla shares have been all over the map. As of Monday’s close, the stock was actually up about 3 percent since Baron’s CNBC interview on the morning of May 14.
Baron said the average cost of buying Tesla stock, starting in 2014, is $219.70 per share. The shares closed Monday at $310.70 each.