Hybrids & Electrics

Tesla’s Success Is on Track to Make Elon Musk the First Trillionaire

Tesla EVs have been around only since 2008, but today they’re easy to find driving on roads across the United States. The automaker experienced huge growth in 2020, helping make Tesla CEO Elon Musk even wealthier. In fact, he’s on a path to become the first trillionaire.

Tesla saw huge growth in 2020

According to The Street, Tesla is the fifth most valuable company globally, with a valuation close to $800 billion. Its growth has exceeded Facebook. The top four are Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Alphabet (Google). Tesla stock prices increased eight-fold in 2020, Forbes reported.

Tesla Daily mentions that several factors have helped drive the EV-maker’s stock prices recently. That includes Democratic control in Congress, which could benefit companies with green products. Also, RBC Capital Markets upgraded Tesla’s stock rating from “underperform” to “sector perform” and increased its price target. The automaker’s stock has seen several positive days this month, and Tesla Daily believes its inclusion in benchmark funds is helping drive that.

Elon Musk’s net worth

In early January 2021, Elon Musk was temporarily the wealthiest person in the world, according to Tesla Daily. He was worth about $195 billion, and he could end up the first trillionaire. His already high net worth grew by about $165.5 billion in 2020, helping him surpass Jeff Bezos of Amazon, who has held the top spot since 2017. Musk is now worth about $185 billion, and Bezos has reclaimed the top spot, Forbes reports.

The automaker has seen enormous growth in just two years. At the beginning of 2019, it was worth $53 billion, and Musk was worth around $25 billion, Celebrity Net Worth reports. The company’s value has grown, and Musk owns about 20 percent of Tesla. He also owns about 54 percent of SpaceX, whose valuation is about $50 billion. And he holds stakes in The Boring Company and Neuralink.

As part of his compensation, Musk can also purchase discounted shares as Tesla meets various goals. In 2018, Musk said on Twitter that he plans to use half of his money to resolve problems on Earth and the other half to set up a self-sustaining city on Mars.

Is Tesla overvalued?

Tesla is a leader in electric vehicles and self-driving technology, but many analysts believe the stock is overvalued given the amount of business it does. Forbes points out that the stock value increased 70 percent in the last months of 2020, following the November announcement of the company’s addition to the S&P 500. Companies must be profitable to be added to the S&P 500, and Tesla didn’t reach four profitable quarters until June 2020 despite the company’s huge size, Bloomberg points out. “Tesla trades at about 15x projected 2021 Revenue and about 175x projected earnings,” Forbes says. The average industry P/E is about 15x.

By mid-January 2021, NASDAQ mentioned the company’s stock value continues to rise this month. It also found the automaker to be overvalued but calculated a 69 percent chance that its stock would continue to rise in the next month. Tesla’s valuation could be due for a correction as the economy changes post-pandemic if the Fed increases interest rates or if competitors release popular new EVs, Forbes says. Tesla’s value is also strongly tied to Musk’s leadership (and personality).

But not everyone thinks Tesla is overvalued. According to Inc., billionaire venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya believes future changes in power utilities will lead to great growth for the EV-maker. He looks at Tesla as a distributed energy company, working on cars, batteries, solar panels, and solar batteries.

If SpaceX’s and Tesla’s values rise and the latter’s share prices continue to climb, Elon Musk is on track to become the world’s first trillionaire.