Elon Musk tweets, deletes brag that Tesla will be biggest company ‘in a few months’

Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
The chief executive’s Twitter posts have been the subject of SEC and shareholder scrutiny before.

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk boasted early Friday that his company could be “the biggest” in a few months.

“I think there is a >0% chance Tesla could become the biggest company,” he tweeted at 4:18 a.m. EDT in response to Twitter user who stated that Tesla could be bigger than Apple and tagged Musk.

Another user responded, “I love the direction of that arrow!” To which Musk replied: “Probably within a few months.”

That tweet has since been deleted, but screenshots were obtained by The Washington Post.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk boasted about his expectations for the company's growth in a series of tweets early Friday morning. The second tweet has since been deleted. Screenshot obtained by The Washington Post. (Faiz Siddiqui/TWP)

Tesla fans quickly reacted, urging other Twitter users to delete screenshots of those tweets over fears the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission might take notice. Others called for Tesla fans to buy more stock.

The federal regulator declined to comment. A Tesla representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Musk’s tweets have been the subject of amusement, investor lawsuits and a securities fraud charge by the SEC.

In September 2018, the agency chargedMusk with securities fraud after he tweeted to his 22 million followers that he could take Tesla private at $420 per share and that he already had the funding to do so — just pending a shareholder vote. The SEC alleged that the “series of false and misleading tweets” caused Tesla’s stock price to jump more than 6 percent that day and significantly disrupted the market. Musk and Tesla ultimately reached a settlement with the SEC, with each paying a $20 million penalty.

Earlier this month, Tesla investor Chase Gharrity filed a lawsuit over Musk’s “erratic” tweets that he said influenced the markets and cost shareholders billions of dollars in losses, Reuters reported. One of the tweets named in the complaint was from May 2020, when Musk tweeted“Tesla stock price is too high imo” and Tesla stock price fell by 10 percent.

And Musk’s latest Twitter spiel comes just one day after the National Labor Relations Board called on Tesla to have Musk delete a tweet from 2018 discouraging unionization and rehire a former employee who the company fired, upholding a 2019 administrative law judge ruling that stated company engaged in unfair labor practices.

As of Friday morning, the tweet was still up. It reads, “Nothing stopping Tesla team at our car plant from voting union. Could do so tmrw if they wanted. But why pay union dues & give up stock options for nothing? Our safety record is 2X better than when plant was UAW & everybody already gets healthcare.”

Tesla shares were down slightly in Friday morning trading, hovering near $633, down about 1 percent. The company with a more than $612.1 billion market cap is expected to release its quarterly earnings in late April or early May.

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