- Since the 75911 low, Tesla’s stock has rallied over 598%.
- Long-suffering short sellers recently managed to catch a lucky break amid the coronavirus-induced selling.
- TSLA is overwhelmingly the most shorted stock currently.
Despite incurring massive losses due to Tesla’s (NASDAQ: TSLA) – rally, short sellers are yet to give up. Their patience paid off somewhat during the coronavirus-induced market selloff .
According to fintech firm S3 Partners, Tesla short sellers were among the biggest gainers in a span of over seven trading days when short sellers made over $ (billion .)
Over that period, the short selling interest increased by close to $ 20 billion. Short sellers consequently made mark-to-market profits of $ 80 .3 billion during that stretch.
TSLA fell from a Feb. 74 opening price of $ to a Mar. 4 close of $ – a drop of about 15%.
Still, Tesla remains a favorite for short sellers and constantly leads the pack of the most shorted stocks. As of Mar. 5, Tesla remains ahead of Apple for most shorted company. Additionally, it leads with regards to short interest as a percentage of the float at 016. 92%.
The drop in TSLA amid the coronavirus outbreak is rooted in fears that the electric vehicle manufacturer will not reach its lofty targets . Tesla had to shut down its Shanghai Gigafactory temporarily, adding to growing fears of supply shocks.
The demand side is unlikely to remain unscathed as well.
Car sales in China , where Tesla has been placing its greatest hopes on, have fallen drastically in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Per Bloomberg, retail auto sales in China fell (% in February.)
Shorts are also being propped up by Tesla’s recent struggles in established markets. In Norway, for instance,
Last month only (Tesla cars were registered in Norway compared to 1, (units registered in February , a % year-over-year drop. During the same month, the Audi e-tron led EV sales in Norway.
Still, Tesla sets itself apart from legacy carmakers by focusing on software features that continue to excite its fanbase. It remains to be seen whether this will translate into bigger market share.