A prior version of this report gave an incorrect date for a gift of short shorts from Elon Musk to David Einhorn. The story has been corrected
Tesla’s Elon Musk fired off the latest volley in his long-running feud with Greenlight Capital’s founder David Einhorn via Twitter on Friday.
Days after swearing he would take a break from the micro-blogging site, Musk blasted out a response to a tweet from blogging site ZeroHedge, which purported to sum up a critical October 30 investor letter from the hedge-fund manager. MarketWatch cannot confirm the authenticity of that document.
A frequent critic and bear on the stock, Einhorn referred to Tesla
as a “material loser” during the latest quarter. Among other complaints, he accused Musk of “significant fraud,” by “arranging the $2.6 billion acquisition of SolarCity at a time when the company was insolvent.”
Addressing Einhorn as “Mr. Unicorn,” — the German translation of that name — Musk responded that the manager had made “numerous false allegations,” without getting specific but he also said he sympathized with Einhorn’s situation.
“It is understandable that you wish to save face with your investors, given the losses you suffered from Tesla’s successful third quarter, especially since you’ve had several down years in performance and a sharp drop in assets under management from $15 billion to $5 billion.”
Short sellers like Einhorn, who bet on a falling Tesla share price, have been getting burned since the company surprised Wall Street with a quarterly profit last month.
Some short sellers have been trimming those positions since June. Shares of Tesla are up just 0.8% year to date, but rebounded 39% for the quarter so far. Einhorn’s Greenlight fund declined 4.9% in August, leaving it with a year-to-date return of 15.2%, after a 34% plunge in 2018, which marked its worst year on record, according to Bloomberg.
Musk offered to host a visit by Einhorn to Tesla facilities, saying investors would probably appreciate him “getting smart” on the company.
The Tesla chief also said he would be sending Einhorn “a small gift of short shorts to help you through this difficult time.” The Greenlight manager must have a drawer full somewhere, given that Musk apparently sent him a load of shorts in August 2018 too.