Tesla investor Ross Gerber told Insider why he’s grown more bullish on the stock.
Tesla’s move into advertising and the new Twitter CEO bode well for shareholders, he said.
“You gotta own Tesla in your portfolio with Elon re-focused,” Gerber said.
Ross Gerber has never shied away from giving an honest take on Tesla or Elon Musk, and now he’s feeling more bullish than he did even just a week ago.
The cofounder and CEO of Gerber Kawasaki Wealth and Investment Management said he noticed a big change at Tesla’s annual meeting on Tuesday.
“Elon had his mojo back,” Gerber told Insider. “Seeing his energy and enthusiasm, him being around the people who love him and he loves, you can see he’s clearly happy, so that’s great.”
In 2022, Tesla lost $700 billion in market capitalization and Wall Street was worried that Musk’s Twitter takeover distracted him from his other brands.
In February, Gerber launched a bid for a board seat, saying Tesla needs to “grow up” and build its image beyond Musk. He soon dropped the bid, saying that shareholders’ concerns have been heard, while still noting Musk was “focused on another area of his life.”
On May 12, Musk named Linda Yaccarino as Twitter’s new chief executive. The news led to a spike in Tesla’s stock price, as Wall Street saw the move as a sign that the billionaire would dedicate more of his bandwidth to his car company.
Gerber agreed, and said the annual meeting confirmed that belief, pointing to takeaways like new details on a future $25,000 vehicle, updates on the Cybertruck, and Tesla’s robot technology. He also said Musk seemed personable and charismatic in a CNBC interview.
“It was literally the best PR day for Tesla since the Twitter disaster began,” Gerber said.
The appointment of the new Twitter chief and updates at the Tesla meeting even changed his investment view.
In the first quarter, Gerber was a slight net seller, going from 440,000 to 420,000 shares, his firm’s 13F filings show. But his stance has now flipped.
“You gotta own Tesla in your portfolio with Elon re-focused on Tesla,” Gerber said. “I went from a hold and somewhat bearish, to a buy and somewhat bullish. The only thing keeping me from outright bullishness is the broader economy.”
Tesla’s move into advertising
Gerber’s other takeaways from the shareholder meeting included signs that Musk wouldn’t be stepping down from his CEO role at Tesla anytime soon.
But Musk’s announcement that Tesla would begin to test out advertising was the biggest surprise and development of the day, Gerber said.
More people will learn about the brand through this avenue, given that Tesla’s videos displaying its technology are already attractive, he noted.
Meanwhile, Gerber also sees room for improvement in customer service, and said Tesla needs a “quality and service czar” who’s solely focused on ensuring customers have a positive experience with the brand.
“Tesla needs to understand that they have millions of users, and someone has to be in charge of the user experience, not just updating software,” the money manager said. “They’re very good with the tech side, but they need to be better with human interaction for customers.”
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