Tesla shares fall as investors bash Musk's Twitter focus

FILE PHOTO: A view of the Tesla service centre in Singapore July 16, 2022. REUTERS/Chen Lin/File Photo

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Tesla shares extended declines to hit their lowest level in more than two years on Wednesday, as investors including a "fanboy" of CEO Elon Musk lashed out at Musk's distraction from the electric car company following his buy of Twitter.

Shares of Tesla, the world's most valuable carmaker, is one of the worst performing stocks among major automakers and tech companies this year, as investors worry that Musk's Twitter buy could divert his time away from Tesla and he could offload more Tesla stocks to prop up the struggling social media company.

Investors are also increasingly concerned that his antics could hurt brand and sales of Tesla, the world's top electric carmaker which faces increasing competition.

"Elon abandoned Tesla and Tesla has no working CEO," KoGuan Leo, the third Largest individual shareholder of Tesla, who describes himself of Musk's "fanboy," tweeted on Wednesday.

"Are we merely Elon’s foolish bag holders?" he said. "An executioner, Tim Cook-like is needed, not Elon."

Tesla shares traded down 1.4%, after falling as much as 3.2% to $155.88 per share, the lowest level since November 18, 2020.

Tesla shares slumped 55% so far this year, lagging the performances of GM, Ford, Apple and Amazon.

Musk said on Tuesday that he “will make sure Tesla shareholders benefit from Twitter long-term," without elaborating.

Even Tesla bulls and loyal fans expressed discontent over Musk's controversial tweets.

"Elon is a brilliant business leader. He will realize soon (if not already) that his polarizing political views are hurting customer perceptions of $TSLA EVs," Gary Black, a Tesla bull, tweeted on Wednesday.

"Customers don’t want their cars to be controversial. They want to be proud as hell to drive them - not embarrassed."

Goldman Sachs on Tuesday cut the price target for Tesla shares and lowered estimates for Tesla's deliveries and gross margins for the fourth quarter, reflecting softer supply and demand.

(Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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