|Bid||0.00 x 1200|
|Ask||0.00 x 1100|
|Day's Range||47.98 - 50.85|
|52 Week Range||20.00 - 56.11|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||0.86|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||N/A|
|Earnings Date||Feb 09, 2021|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y Target Est||47.29|
The man behind a once-influential pro-Trump account is facing charges of election interference for allegedly disseminating voting disinformation on Twitter in 2016. Federal prosecutors allege that Douglass Mackey, who used the name "Ricky Vaughn" on Twitter, encouraged people to cast their ballot via text or on social media, effectively tricking others into throwing away those votes. According to the Justice Department, 4,900 unique phone numbers texted a phone number Mackey promoted in order to "vote by text."
(Bloomberg) -- Tesla Inc. reported lower-than-expected profit and record revenue, mixed results that disappointed investors used to razzle-dazzle -- but more in tune with the S&P 500 heavyweight it has become.The electric-vehicle market leader reported an adjusted fourth-quarter profit of 80 cents a share Wednesday due largely to price cuts, falling short of analysts’ consensus estimate for $1.03 and well below the blowout $2.14 of a year ago -- before the global pandemic set in. The results marked a sixth straight profitable quarter but also the first time the company missed Wall Street’s forecast since July 2019.Tesla shares fell as much as 7.6% in postmarket trading after closing down 2.1% to $864.16.“Investors continue to be laser focused on the profitability picture,” Dan Ives, a Wedbush Securities analyst with a neutral rating on the stock, wrote in a research note.The Palo Alto, California-based company, which joined the ranks of the prestigious S&P 500 Index last month, said operating margins shrank to 5.4% in the latest quarter, down from 9.2% in the previous three months. It blamed aggressive price cutting in China, supply-chain costs and a big pay package for Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk and other executives.“It was a mixed bag,” Gene Munster of Loup Ventures said in an interview, noting the dip in margins was accompanied by price cuts to win market share. “It’s negative for today but good for the long term, given the EV market is nascent.”A ‘Noisy’ QuarterDespite missing analysts’ income estimates, the results showed Tesla’s first full-year profit. The company has defied skeptics by achieving sustained growth and been rewarded with a record stock price and a $819 billion market capitalization, dwarfing other carmakers. Its success has helped spur a rally in shares of other companies with lofty EV strategies, both old and new.“2020 was a defining year for us on many levels,” Musk said on the quarterly earnings call. “We delivered almost as many cars last year as we have produced in our entire history, really an incredible growth rate despite a very challenging 2020.”Tesla did not give a specific number for how many cars it expects to deliver in 2021, but said that it anticipates beating last year’s 50% growth rate, which would mean more than 750,000 units. It delivered almost 500,000 vehicles globally in 2020.But that growth is coming at a cost. Tesla said the average selling price of its vehicles in the fourth quarter was 11% less than a year ago. That compares with a 3.1% gain in average transaction prices for all new vehicles sold in the U.S. last year to a record $36,786, according to market researcher TrueCar.Musk has said he would be willing to sacrifice profitability to sell more and cheaper cars. But the CEO warned employees in an internal email last month that Tesla’s shares could get “crushed” if investors start to worry about its ability to deliver on profit expectations.Chief Financial Officer Zachary Kirkhorn indicated the “noisy” quarter -- due in part to higher executive compensation tied to the rally in Tesla’s shares -- was more of an anomaly than the new normal. “Operating margin will continue to grow and remain industry leading,” he said on the call.Credit-Fueled RevenueTesla’s revenue hit $10.74 billion in the October to December period, surpassing analysts’ estimate for $10.38 billion and exceeding the $7.38 billion in the last quarter of 2019.The company earns money by selling regulatory credits to automakers that need them to comply with carbon-emissions standards in California, Europe and elsewhere. Investors view this revenue as a double-edged sword because they want to know Tesla can be profitable from its core business: making and selling cars. Sales of regulatory credits were $401 million, up from $397 million in the third quarter.Tesla did not specify its supply-chain cost issues, but Kirkhorn said the company is working “extremely hard” to mitigate the impacts of a global semiconductor shortage that has forced carmakers to curtail production of some models.Read More: Carmakers Face $61 Billion Sales Hit From Pandemic Chip ShortageThe company’s surging market valuation has allowed it to raise cash repeatedly in recent months -- and accrue what Musk has called a “war chest” for investment in new plants and battery technology. The automaker is building two assembly plants in Germany and Austin, Texas, which will dramatically increase its ability to supply vehicles.Kirkhorn said Tesla can now afford to build production capacity to meet expected demand in a way it hasn’t been able to do previously. “This is an important point on capital efficiency that we haven’t had the luxury to do in the past,” he said.Battery Supply BottleneckThe automaker said it has been upgrading its factory in Fremont, California, to launch refreshed versions of its S and X models with new powertrains and an entirely new interior. A photo in the shareholder letter shows a small screen for passengers in the back seat. The first deliveries of the Model S began in 2012, and speculation about an overdue refresh has circulated for months.Even though Musk has promised to launch a $25,000 model by 2023, he’s not ceding ground on high-margin luxury cars. Besides refreshing the S and X models, Tesla said the “Plaid” version of its flagship S sedan will go on sale next month and the updated Model X in April. It claims the high-performance version makes the S the fastest car in the world, beating out the Porsche 918 Spyder and Bugatti Chiron.The much-anticipated Cybertruck pickup is on track to debut later this year, but Musk said high-volume production won’t begin until 2022. He also said Tesla plans to join the race to build an electric van but noted constraints on battery supplies have forced it to pace the debut of new vehicles.“We will take as many batteries as they can produce. We urge them to increase their production, and we will buy as much as they can send to us,” the CEO said, mentioning leading suppliers such as Panasonic Corp., LG Chem Ltd. and Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd.(Updates to add Musk tweet on Model S. An earlier version corrected the title of Kirkhorn in 12th paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Thousands of Hillary Clinton supporters were misled into casting invalid “votes” via text message by a social media influencer who used the Twitter handle “Ricky Vaughn” to spread racist content and Russian misinformation during the 2016 election, the government says.Douglass Mackey, 31, was charged Wednesday by federal prosecutors in Brooklyn, New York, in what they believe to be the first case targeting social media activity under a Reconstruction-era law designed to combat voter suppression.Mackey, who was arrested Wednesday in West Palm Beach, Florida, made an initial court appearance there before U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart and was released on $50,000 bond, Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Seth DuCharme said. Kristy Militello, a public defender who represented Mackey in his court appearance, declined to comment on the case. Mackey could not be reached for comment.Prosecutors say Mackey, whose @Ricky_Vaughn99 Twitter account had about 58,000 followers in 2016, conspired with unidentified other people to disseminate fraudulent social media messages encouraging supporters of one presidential candidate to “vote” via text messages, social media or other invalid methods. Though the candidate was not indentified in charging documents, a source familiar with the matter said it was Clinton.‘Avoid the Line’Mackey, whose Twitter account often tweeted racist and anti-Semitic content along with support for Donald Trump before it was suspended in October 2016, and his co-conspirators appeared to target Black voters with messages suggesting they could “avoid the line” and use a provided phone number to text their vote. According to prosecutors, about 4,900 voters did so instead of casting legitimate votes at the polls. The phone number was also used in “multiple” deceptive campaign images tweeted by Mackey, according to the U.S.“What Mackey allegedly did to interfere with this process -- by soliciting voters to cast their ballots via text -- amounted to nothing short of vote theft,” said William Sweeney, head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s New York Office.The Huffington Post in 2018 identified Mackey as “Ricky Vaughn.” According to the report, Mackey grew up in Vermont, graduated from Middlebury College in 2011 and worked at an economic consulting firm in New York before establishing an online presence. After Twitter shut down @Ricky_Vaughn99, Mackey resumed his social media activity using the account @RapinBill, which was re-tweeted by a Russian-controlled social media account.He is not the first Trump supporter to face criminal charges for intentionally spreading election-related misinformation. Conservative activists Jack Burkman and Jacob Wohl were charged by state prosecutors in Ohio and Michigan in October with orchestrating a robocall campaign in Detroit, Cleveland and other large cities aimed at discouraging residents from voting by mail in the 2020 election. The calls falsely claimed that absentee-ballot information could be used by law enforcement and debt collectors, among others.‘Psyops’Mackey was charged under the federal conspiracy against rights statute, which was enacted after the Civil War. If convicted, he faces as long as 10 years in prison.According to prosecutors, the scheme dated back to 2015 when Mackey and four others participated in numerous online forums to discuss the use of internet memes to influence the upcoming election, referring to their efforts as “psyops,” shorthand for psychological operations.At the height of his popularity, an analysis by the MIT Media Lab ranked Mackey’s Twitter account as the 107th most important influencer ahead of the 2016 election, ranking it above outlets and individuals like NBC News and comedian Stephen Colbert.(Updates with court hearing, adds background)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.