Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) News: Smart Elon Musk, Convertible Bond Offer at $525mln, Model S Outselling Rivals

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Tesla’s Elon Musk Is No Dummy (Forbes)
Indeed, Elon Musk, who founded or co-founded PayPal, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) and SpaceX, has degrees in economics and physics. He started a PhD at Stanford in applied physics and materials science, but dropped out to become an entrepreneur. Smart move. Today, Musk is worth an estimated $4.3 billion after strong gains in Tesla shares, along with Solar City, where he is chairman and owns 28 percent. But the 41-year-old Musk, born in South Africa, is proving to be savvy in other ways. On Wednesday, after the markets closed, he announced Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) plans to sell as much as $830 million in shares and debt and that he will personally invest another $100 million in the electric car company.

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)Tesla motors increases convertible bond offer to $525mln (Reuters)
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) on Thursday increased the size of its convertible bond and tightened price talk, according to two market sources close to the situation. The five-year convertible bond is now sized at $525m and price talk has been revised to 1.5%-2% with the conversion premium fixed at 35%, from the original talk of 2%-2.5% and 30%-35% on a deal originally sized at $450m, the sources said.

Tesla Model S Outselling Rival European Luxury Sedans (Gas 2.0)
And while the Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) Model S has plenty of awards, it also has the sales to back it up as well. In fact, the Tesla Model S is outselling more-established luxury vehicles from brands like Mercedes and BMW. In the first quarter of 2013, 4,750 Tesla Model S sedans were registered in the U.S. The next-closest competitor in that price range ($70,000-ish) was the Mercedes S-Class, which starts at $72,000. There were 3,077 new Mercedes S-Class registrations in the U.S. in the first quarter, giving the Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) a sizable advantage. Then there is the BMW 7-series, which the Tesla outsold by an almost 2-to-1 margin, with just 2,338 new 7-series registrations. The Audi A8 sold just 1,462 units in the same time frame.

Tesla’s Capital Raise to Test Demand for High-Flying Stock (Wall Street Journal)
An offering of stock and convertible debt by Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) slated for after the close of trading Thursday is set to be a test of demand for the red-hot stock. The chance to grab of blocks of Tesla shares–which have increased in value by more than 50% in little over a week–could provide a window to demand among professional money managers, who typically buy a significant portion of the shares in such deals, market participants said. Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has enjoyed strong demand for previous follow-on offerings of its shares. In September, it sold $225 million in stock at a slim 0.8% discount to the shares’ last closing price before the offering was disclosed, according to Dealogic.

Tesla revenue to get boost from selling “green” car credits (San Bernardino Sun)
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) may draw about 11 percent of its revenue this year from selling “green” car credits to other automakers under pressure to meet clean air policies in U.S. states like California, an analyst said on Tuesday. This year, Tesla could make $188 million from selling zero emission vehicle and greenhouse gas credits, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas said. This is about 11 percent of Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s expected 2013 revenue of $1.7 billion. The automaker, which makes the Model S electric sedan, leaned heavily on these credit sales during the first quarter when the company reported its first-ever quarterly profit. Tesla shares have climbed about 50 percent since the report.

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