- Saudi Arabia has been in talks with the electric-car maker Lucid Motors, Reuters reported Monday.
- JPMorgan cut its price target for Tesla to $195 from $305 on Monday, citing the fact that funding for a go-private deal had not been secured as CEO Elon Musk originally said.
- Tesla shares sank more than 6% in early trading Monday but crawled back into the green shortly after open.
- Follow Tesla's stock price in real-time here.
Shares of Tesla were down about 1.3% in trading Monday after fighting their way back from a 6% loss at the open that included brief moments in the green.
The losses come after a dramatic price target cut from JPMorgan to $195 per share and a Reuters report which said Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund was considering an investment in a rival electric-car maker, Lucid Motors.
News of the talks comes almost two full weeks after the Financial Times reported the kingdom's sovereign-wealth fund had bought a 3% to 5% stake in Tesla. That report was followed by a tweet from CEO Elon Musk suggesting that funding had been secured to take the electric-car maker private at $420 a share.
In response, Tesla shares skyrocketed to near record highs, hitting of $387.46 apiece, on August 7. But they slumped more than 20% from that level through Friday, and Monday's selling was poised to wipe away all of Tesla's post earnings gains. The sell-off has been a windfall for Tesla short-sellers, who have made more than $1.3 billion.
The big profits seen by the short-sellers come much to the chagrin of Musk, who told The New York Times in an interview published Friday that he was gearing up for "months of extreme torture" from those betting against his stock.
Also weighing on Tesla's stock price in early trading Monday was a price-target cut from JPMorgan. The bank's analyst Ryan Brinkman slashed his target by more than 35% to $195 a share, citing the fact that funding was not actually secured when Musk indicated it had been.
"The revelation the Saudi fund is subsequently asking Tesla for details of how the company would be taken private suggests to us that any deal is potentially far from even being formally proposed," Brinkman told clients in a note Monday, Bloomberg reported.
Wall Street now has an average target of $331 for Tesla, according to Bloomberg, 26% below Musk's $420 target for taking the company private.
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