By Dave Sebastian
Tesla Inc. said it planned to raise up to $5 billion in stock offerings from time to time.
The return to capital markets comes after the electric-vehicle maker's 5-for-1 split Monday, which sent shares up 13% to $498.32. The latest fund raising represents roughly 1.1% of Tesla's $464 billion market capitalization, according to FactSet. Shares were down about 1% to $493.34 in morning trading after rising in premarket trading Tuesday.
The electric-vehicle maker in February raised more than $2 billion from a stock sale to help bolster its balance sheet. Chief Executive Elon Musk has had a complicated relationship with fundraising. As a CEO with a showman's flair, he has been successful in drumming up investor enthusiasm in Tesla, while also expressing a reluctance to issue stock over concerns it would dilute value for existing shareholders. He is the largest owner of Tesla stock.
The offerings could result in a 2% to 3% dilution in stock, Wedbush Securities Inc. analyst Daniel Ives said. But the benefits would outweigh the dilution, he said, as the company is now profitable and could support the buildout of its assembly plants in the U.S. and Europe.
"This will get them out of debt from a cash perspective," Mr. Ives said. "It's near-term pain for long-term gain."
Tesla in July posted a fourth-consecutive profitable quarter for the first time in its 17-year history, defying the Covid-19 pandemic, threat of extended economic recession and Wall Street analysts who expected a loss. But reaching that point hasn't been easy. In its quest to become the first mass producer of electric cars, the company burned cash to raise production and overcome logistical hurdles
The company on Tuesday said it has entered an equity distribution agreement with Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, BofA Securities Inc., Barclays Capital Inc., Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, SG Americas Securities LLC, Wells Fargo Securities LLC and BNP Paribas Securities Corp.
Those banks, which will act as sales agents, will get a commission of up to 0.5% of gross proceeds from each sale of the shares, as well as reimbursement for certain expenses, Tesla said. The company said it could end the agreement at any time.
Tesla shares have surged about 80% from the company's Aug. 11 stock-split announcement and have risen nearly sixfold this year.
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