Tesla Inc.’s (TSLA) stock has been one of the most volatile over the past few years. The significant rise and fall of the shares are a direct reflection of the struggles the company has faced as it has ramped up the production of its newest all-electric sedan, the Model 3. Production challenges have resulted in the company swinging between profit and losses for the past two years. As a result; investors have struggled to gain confidence in the stock to push the shares higher.
In the fourth quarter of 2018, investors were eagerly adding to their holdings of the stock on hopes that the company had finally turned the corner for the better. Additionally, the stock was added to the WhaleWisdom 100 Index on February 15 as a result of the buying activity in the fourth quarter.
During the fourth quarter, the number of total 13F shares held among hedge funds increased by more than 62% to 3.2 million shares from 1.97 million. However, the number of total 13F shares held among institutions remained steady at 101.5 million shares
The Biggest Buyers
Among the most significant additions during the quarter were from the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund, which added nearly 8.3 million shares, bringing its total holdings to 4.8% of the company. Additionally, Capital World Investors added nearly 1.8 million shares, bringing their total holdings to 8.6 million, and they now hold over 5% of the company.
The Biggest Sellers
However, not every institution was buying during the quarter. One of the stock’s biggest holders, T. Rowe Price Associates Inc., cut its position in half to 8.9 million shares, reducing its stake to just 5.2% of the company. Meanwhile, the Bank of Montreal sold almost 3 million shares and nearly exited the stock entirely, now holding less than 300,000 shares.
Tesla continues to be a hotly contested stock between the bulls and the bears, which is likely one reason why there was such a significant shift among its top holders in the stock during the quarter. If one thing is clear, it is that Tesla continues to ramp-up the number of Model 3’s it produces each week. According to the Bloomberg Model 3 tracker, the company is quickly approaching 6,000 Model 3’s per week from just 400 per week at the same time a year ago.
While the company continues to push the envelope on the production of its cars while implementing cutting edge technology, the debate will continue to rage on, whether the company ever reaches its goal of creating cars for the masses while achieving profitability.