Tesla Motors Stock Is Not A Victim Of Big Oil
If comment sections are to be believed, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is under constant attack from the oil industry. Every negative report from an analyst or media reference to the fires in the company's Model S is a plant from Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) according to the ever-present narrative. But what if big oil doesn't control everything?
There are many reasons to be skeptical about the complicity of oil companies in the fall of Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) stock. There is a certain logic to the accusations, but there are too many variables unaccounted for, and the campaign hasn't exactly been carried out masterfully. Big oil isn't behind the loss in Tesla Motors value, and here's why.
Tesla's Stock Price Is Not A Rank
Tesla Motors returned a huge amount of value to its investors this year. The company's shares have lost about a third of their value since their high point. There is no obvious and direct impetus for the loss. The easy answer, and the one that is most often given, is the media's coverage of the Model S fires.
Stock price is not a perfect indication of how a company is doing, and it may not even be a good one. Some stocks the market is able to value correctly on performance, others take much more from mood than reason. Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) stock was valued on emotion, not on performance.
For the company's management and long term investors stock price is related to performance, but it is not a reflection of it. Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) and the rest of big oil understand this and has no interest in lowering the value of the company's shares. It simply does not make sense for them to do so.
Lowering the price of Tesla Motors stock has no direct effect on the business. Elon Musk, the company's CEO, understands this. His attempts to restrain the value of the company were much more explicit than the alleged unleashing of hundreds of bloggers by Exxon.
Tesla Motors Is A Threat
It doesn't make sense for big oil to attack Tesla Motors stock as so many have alleged. It does make sense for oil companies to attack the reputation of the company, however, though that does not mean it's happening. The Tesla Model S fires appeared in the news because Tesla is a big news story. It's a big news story because it has a revolutionary product, and its stock has risen dramatically in the last year.
When the media disproportionately covered antenna problems with the iPhone 4 it was not regarded as a Samsung conspiracy. When problems with the PS4 arose the idea that it was a Microsoft conspiracy did not take hold.
Companies do pay bloggers to bash competitors and augment their reputation. A certain amount of that may be at play at Tesla, but there's no evidence of it. Tesla stock fell because it was in a bubble. Tesla fires are in the news because the Model S attracts attention. If big oil could mastermind a take-down of Tesla, one would think they'd do a little better than they have.
Disclosure: Author represents that he has no position in any stocks mentioned in this article at the time this article was submitted.