Tesla shares plunge 20 pct as it fails to make it into S&P 500 index

Technology entrepreneur Elon Musk gives autographs as he visits the Tesla Gigafactory construction site in Gruenheide near Berlin, Germany, on September 3, 2020. (AP)

Tesla Inc tumbled as much as 20 percent on Tuesday after its surprise exclusion from the S&P 500 index added to the broader sell-off in technology stocks, which have dominated Wall Street’s recovery from the coronavirus-driven crash earlier this year.

Wall Street analysts and investors widely expected Tesla to join the S&P 500 after the company posted its fourth consecutive profitable quarter in July, clearing a major hurdle for its potential inclusion in the benchmark stock index.

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In a surprise announcement, the S&P Dow Jones Indices decided to add online craft seller Etsy Inc, semiconductor equipment maker Teradyne Inc and pharmaceutical technology company Catalent Inc to the
S&P 500 instead.

S&P Dow Jones Indices senior index analyst Howard Silverblatt on Friday declined to say why Tesla was not added to the S&P 500.

The three companies included by S&P are much smaller in size, but have a more consistent profitability track record.

Etsy, for instance, has posted 13 straight quarters of profits, compared with Tesla’s four consecutive quarters of profit.

“On the one hand, the slide in the share price is due to its non-inclusion in the S&P 500, but on the other hand the slide is also a normalization of the company’s valuation,” Frank Schwope, an analyst at NORD/LB, said.

With a market capitalization of about $390 billion, Tesla is nearly 10 times larger than Etsy, Teradyne and Catalent’s combined stock market value of about $40 billion.

Tesla’s recent stock rally has been driven by its blockbuster quarterly results, as well as on bets it would be added to the S&P 500, which would trigger massive demand for its shares from index funds that track the benchmark.

Fellow electric automaker Nikola Corp jumped 35 percent on Tuesday after General Motors Co said it was acquiring an 11 percent stake in the company.

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Last Update: Tuesday, 08 September 2020 KSA 20:27 - GMT 17:27
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