Kevin O’Leary’s son persuaded him to buy Tesla shares

Kevin O’Leary’s son persuaded him to buy Tesla shares

When your net income is $400 million but you have your son pester you into a 1,000% investment return.

Tesla stock is trading at $222 per share in late August and the share price is up 75% this year. Analyst sentiment is generally bullish on Tesla, with Baird’s Ben Kallo calling an “outperform” rating on company shares with a $300 price target.

Yet Shark Tank icon and venture capitalist Kevin O’Leary didn’t like Tesla’s profit potential and had to be talked into buying Tesla several years ago by his son. Now he’s a Tesla bull who loves the company’s earnings potential.

Talk about a turnaround.

A few years ago, in a conversation with his son who was interning at Tesla as an electrical engineer at the time, O’Leary says his son asked him to buy some shares of Tesla.

“Tesla is a joke,” O’Leary said, recalling the conversation in a recent interview. “I want to short that stock. It’s a car company that’s trading at a ridiculous price.”

“No, you’re a joke,” his son responded. “You don’t understand what Tesla is doing. I work there.”

O’Leary’s son explained that Tesla wasn’t a car company, it was a data company. “Every mile a Tesla drives goes into a mapping database for autonomous cars,” he told O’Leary.

“I didn’t know that,” O’Leary responded. Shortly afterward, O’Leary picked up his phone and bought a block of Tesla stock, and said he “forgot about it.”

“So one day I opened my phone and say that my Tesla investment was up 1,000%,” O’Leary recalled.

Now, four years after that conversation with his son, O’Leary sees a “big upside” for Tesla on the manufacturing side going forward and said he’s “on the list” for a new Cybertruck, which is expected to roll out in the third quarter of 2023.

All for a stock O’Leary wanted to short before his son talked him out of it.

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