Tesla became the world’s most valuable car company on Wednesday, speeding past Toyota to a $208 billion-plus market capitalization. The electric carmaker’s stock continued to soar on Thursday after it announced that it had topped delivery expectations, boosting its market valuation to $224.5 billion.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who owns just over 13% of the company’s stock, is the biggest beneficiary of this surge. His net worth has increased by $5.2 billion since last Friday June 26, bringing his fortune to $46.3 billion at the close of trading on Thursday, Forbes calculates. Musk has not sold shares of Tesla since 2010.
“I really couldn’t care less,” Musk emailed Forbes about his net worth. “These numbers rise and fall, but what really matters is making great products that people love.”
The eccentric 49-year-old is now the 16th-richest person in the U.S., right behind industrialist Charles Koch and his late brother David’s widow, Julia Koch. Globally, Musk is the 22nd-richest person in the world, moving up nine places and $21.7 billion in net worth since Forbes finalized the World’s Billionaires list in mid-March.
Musk first joined the ranks of the richest Americans in 2012, debuting on our list of Forbes 400 wealthiest Americans at 190th place with a net worth of $2.4 billion. He’s now worth 19 times that amount — a stunning rise in just eight years. Musk’s enthusiastic followers continue to drive up Tesla’s stock price, despite that fact that it lags behind other automakers in scale. Tesla produced 103,000 vehicles in the first quarter of 2020, just 4% of the vehicles produced by Toyota during the same period.
Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas warned clients in a research note on June 23 against valuing Tesla as a tech giant like Apple or Google, saying “one would have to consider (or ignore) significant inherent differences in Tesla’s business model and capital intensity.” Dan Ives of Wedbush Securities is more optimistic, praising Tesla’s “Teflon-like business model” for withstanding the pandemic. “In our opinion, a 90,000 delivery number in this COVID lockdown environment is a jaw dropper and the bulls will run with this as a potential paradigm changer moving ahead,” Ives writes.
In recent months, as his net worth has risen along with Tesla’s stock price, Musk tweeted about selling all his homes. He reportedly entered a deal to sell his home in Bel Air for $62.9 million in mid June, and has also been reported to be selling four additional properties in Bel Air.