Investing legend Ron Baron has been holding Tesla in his portfolio since 2014, well before the company’s stock rose to new highs for the auto industry. In response to recent concerns about Musk’s sudden decision to buy a stake in Twitter, Baron doubled down on his bullish take on the automaker and shared he’d be holding the stock for most of the coming decade.
Baron plans to hold Tesla stock for another eight years at least, said the Baron Capital CEO on a recent segment of CNBC’s Squawk Box, adding that Elon Musk’s decision to become a 9.2 percent stakeholder in Twitter is “meaningless.”
When asked if Musk’s investment in Twitter would distract the CEO from duties at Tesla, Baron told the publication that the investment was “tiny,” going on to say that he still expects his firm to make “three, four, five times our money on Tesla from here.”
Regarding the implications of Musk’s new role as Twitter’s largest stakeholder, Baron said, “I think it’s meaningless. It’s a tiny investment. $3 billion for a man who is worth $300 billion. He has Tesla which is worth a trillion [and] on the way to being worth $3 or $4 trillion.”
Baron added, “There’s no way this could be anything meaningful to him.”
The stake represents just 1.1 percent of Musk’s overall net worth, not to mention his companies Tesla and SpaceX which together are worth a veritable fortune. Many analysts also expect the companies to help Musk become the world’s first trillionaire.
Above: Ron Baron discusses his views on Tesla (YouTube: CNBC Television)
For Twitter, however, Musk’s stake is quite meaningful, simply by being such a large investment — and officially making Musk Twitter’s largest stakeholder with the 9.2 percent stake worth around $2.89 billion.
Interestingly enough, however, Musk has gone on to decline a seat on Twitter’s board following employee concerns, according to a statement from the social media company CEO Parag Agrawal, and as reported by The New York Times earlier this month.
Still, Musk’s denial of a board member position won’t take away his influence on Twitter, though it may convince some of those who are bearish on Tesla’s stock of Baron’s philosophy. With less direct responsibilities on his hands at Twitter, Musk’s plans for Tesla won’t be derailed.
Recently, Baron Capital sold around a billion dollars worth of Tesla shares, and Baron was quick to share this with CNBC. However, his portfolio still includes around 12.8 percent of total assets under management invested in Tesla, representing a whopping $6.2 billion after the automaker’s shares skyrocketed in the past couple of years.
With Tesla’s recent opening of both Gigafactory Texas and Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg, Baron expects the automaker to produce five million cars per quarter a decade from now — effectively making the company as large as Toyota and Volkswagen combined.
Sources: CNBC / Squawk Box / The New York Times