Longtime Tesla short-seller bets against stocks again despite weak short-term interest
Longtime short seller and Tesla skeptic David Einhorn bought 1,000 puts on 100,000 shares of the electric carmaker. Although short-term interest is at low levels relative to historical data, Einhorn is again betting against the automaker.
Einhorn runs a fund known as Greenlight Capital, a “value-focused long-short hedge fund.” A longtime skeptic of Tesla and Elon Musk, Einhorn has regularly spoken out against the automaker and CEO, opening and closing short and sell positions. He also had regular public spats with Musk, which led to the CEO sending the hedge fund manager a pair of the infamous Tesla Shorts.
Einhorn is now raising his bet against Tesla. A 13-F filing with the SEC on Monday confirmed that Einhorn was once again betting against Tesla stock, a position that many of the company’s most skeptical figures have backed down on over the past year. Filings showed Greenlight bought 1,000 put contracts for 100,000 Tesla shares in the fourth quarter.
At the time of writing, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares were up 4.55%, trading at $915.32 at 2:15 p.m. ET. Greenlight Capital did not immediately respond to our request for comment.
After short interest hit an all-time high as recently as May 2021, many short sellers exited their positions late last year. S3 Partners said the number of stocks sold short was down 50% in November 2021 compared to January 2021. Several notable shorts, including Jim Chanos, admitted Musk had done a good job and quit their positions.
Tesla Shorts (TSLA) Admit Defeat, Interest in Shorts Reaches All-Time High
It doesn’t look like much has changed, although there has been a slight increase in short-term interest over the past month. According to Market beat.com, a site that tracks short interest based on SEC filings, Tesla’s short interest rose 7.1% from Jan. 15 to Jan. 31. The number of shares sold short as of January 31 is 24,060,000 shares.
January 15 showed only 22,460,000 shares shorted.
This is a considerable decrease from short-term interest just a year ago. Filings from late January 2021 showed short-term interest at 52,380,000 shares, well above double current levels.
Tesla held its fourth quarter 2021 earnings call on Jan. 26, just ahead of the surge in shares sold short. Tesla shares may have been sold short during this time as the stock price fell more than 11.5% the day after earnings. Investors appeared to be reacting negatively to the automaker’s plans for 2022, which did not include the introduction of new vehicle models this year. Tesla beat Wall Street estimates on its balance sheet and delivered another profitable quarter.
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Disclosure: Joey Klender is a shareholder of TSLA.