Tesla stocks (NASDAQ:TSLA) ended the past week up 3.39% at $294.09 per share, starting what appears to be the company’s steady recovery from its steep nosedive on Thursday. As TSLA continues to hit its stride in the market once more, short-sellers might be playing an increasingly dangerous game, according to a financial analytics analyst.
In a recently published research note, S3 Partners analyst Ihor Dusaniwsky stated that TSLA bears are currently facing a massive risk by betting against the electric car maker. The analyst also called the bottom on short-selling activity, saying that the constraints in supply and demand are now chipping away at shorts’ profits.
“As Tesla’s short interest increases, there will be external forces putting the brakes on large moves on the short side. Lack of stock loan supply, increased stock loan costs and tapped out risk limits will eventually curtail short-selling in Tesla,” the S3 Partners analyst wrote, according to an Investopedia report.
Dusaniwsky’s note further stated that nearly $12 billion worth of TSLA stocks are now being shorted, translating to around 40.5 million shares. The S3 Partners analyst estimates that there are about 47 million shares available to short the electric car maker, which means that there are only 6.5 million shares of the company left to short. With this supply and demand issue, Dusaniwsky stated in his research note that the costs of keeping a short position against Tesla are now surging, with borrowing fees currently at 3.69% — significantly higher than the 1% fees back in October.
With this, TSLA bears are currently spending an estimated $1.2 million a day to finance their calls, compared to just $200,000 a day back in October 2017. According to the analyst, this could ultimately result in portfolio managers and chief risk officers being forced to intervene.
“Hedge funds and trading desks implement dollar trading limits per desk, trading strategy and security in order to diversify risk and minimize the possibility that a single bad trade can decimate a fund’s performance.
“With over $11 billion of total short interest in Tesla, many traders are either at or close to their risk limits and will not be able to increase their positions substantially. In effect, portfolio managers and chief risk officers will do what Elon Musk cannot do — stop short-sellers from selling.”
As noted in a report from The Street, the recent dive of the electric car maker’s stocks show that TSLA bears are starting to make a grave mistake. They are blurring the line between Elon Musk and Tesla, and, fuelled by their dislike, or even hatred, of the CEO, their calls are starting to become a lot less objective. Unfortunately, an investor that gets emotionally compromised by a trade is not an effective investor at all.
Tesla’s first quarter financial report featured better-than-expected figures for the electric car maker, with the company posting $3.4 billion in revenue with a loss of $568 million. During the earnings call, the company revealed that the Model 3 line — a key source for the company’s expenses — is starting to hit its stride, with Musk stating that the time it takes to produce a battery pack in Gigafactory 1 has gone down from 7 hrs to just 17 minutes. A 10-day scheduled shutdown for the Model 3 line is also expected for Q2, which is expected to help the company reach its target of producing 5,000 units of the compact electric car per week.
As of writing, Tesla shares are trading up 1.45% at $298.33 per share on Monday’s pre-market.
Disclosure: I have no ownership in shares of TSLA and have no plans to initiate any positions within 72 hours.
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