Munster said there’s “greater than 50 percent” chance Musk gets removed as an officer, because the SEC, “they want blood here.” Munster said it is unlikely Musk will be ousted from the company completely — a fear he said is fueling Tesla’s sharp after-hours decline.
“Investors are jumping to that conclusion … that will be on investors minds’ for a long time. But that is only one of four remedies for being found guilty of securities fraud, and keep in mind, he has not been found guilty,” Munster said.
Although he thinks the charge could push Musk into a position that better suits his talents for “product and vision” at Tesla, he admitted the news “plays into the difficulty that Tesla is having,” and will likely keep the company’s stock “range-bound for probably the next three months.”
“The most important part is that he remains an important part of the fabric of that company … and he can do that without having a spot on their board or an investor-facing role,” Munster said.
Colin Rusch, senior analyst at Oppenheimer, agreed that there is a need for additional leadership at Tesla. He compared Tesla to Apple, which saw its stock appreciate “pretty significantly” for several years after CEO Steve Jobs left.
“We wouldn’t be surprised to see Musk settle this fairly quickly,” he said on “Closing Bell.” “He probably does want to stay involved in the company in an active way and will try to do that.”
Shares of the automaker fell more than 10 percent in extended trading Thursday.
— CNBC’s Sara Salinas contributed reporting.
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