Tesla shorts have used several arguments against the electric car maker, and one of the most persistent is arguably the company's massive losses, which have reached a total of around $6.7 billion until Q3 2019. But amidst Tesla shares' (NASDAQ:TSLA) recent rally, even this $6.7 billion loss looks small compared to the approximately $21.97 billion loss that short-sellers have accumulated since the electric car maker entered the market.
This means that short-sellers have lost about three times as much money as Tesla over the years. The bloodbath does not seem to be showing any signs of stopping either. With Tesla rising an impressive 19.89% on Monday trading, TSLAQ ended up losing an estimated $3.16 billion in one day. That's more than equivalent to six years' worth of Tesla's losses, from 2008 to 2016.
I was out of the office at the close. Just saw that $TSLA finished up +$129.43/share ... Looks like the shorts ended up down around -$3.16 billion in mark-to-market losses for the day.— Ihor Dusaniwsky (@ihors3) February 4, 2020
A look at the cumulative losses of TSLAQ over the years shows the shocking amount of blows that short-sellers have swallowed in recent weeks. And it only gets more eye-opening if one were to look at shorts' cumulative losses in 2020 alone. According to S3 Partners, which calculates short data, TSLAQ's losses have reached about $9 billion since the year started. This means that in the course of six weeks, short-sellers have overtaken 12 years' worth of Tesla's losses.
What's rather remarkable is that Tesla's recent rise may not even be driven by shorts covering their positions. Even amidst Tesla's surge, shorts have stayed firm, with only a fraction of their number covering their positions. S3 Managing Director Ihor Dusaniwsky noted on Monday that so far, Tesla still holds the number one spot for the largest domestic short in the US, despite TSLAQ having the largest mark-to-market losses.
Tesla's record-setting bull run has encouraged the company's biggest supporters to raise their expectations in for the electric car maker. ARK Invest, one of the company's most ardent bulls, has released its revised estimates for TSLA, and it included a "Golden Goose" scenario where the company's stock could go as high as $22,000 per share. This would require a number of milestones, of course, such as Tesla lowering its production and operating costs, mastering its factory building, and successfully launching its Robotaxi Network.
The reasons behind Tesla's insane rise over the previous months may not be fully known at this time. That being said, recent TSLA convert Jim Cramer recently noted that the market might be at a point where it is departing from fossil fuel companies, and investing its resources on firms that focus on sustainability. Whether Tesla can capitalize on this shift fully remains to be seen. What is certain is that if Tesla continues to rise, then TSLAQ will undoubtedly see even more losses in the future.
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