Tesla Inc’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO finds himself in headlines again this week, and once again TSLA stock is feeling the impact. Yes, the buying (or not buying) Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) drama on the part of Musk is still out there. But that was supplemented by two Musk moves that are directly related to Tesla, as opposed to his side projects.
In the first, an internal Tesla email was leaked where Musk demanded all remote employees return to the office. He states they must spend a minimum of 40 hours per week in-office, and that can’t be “some remote pseudo office.” Those who don’t show up will be presumed to have resigned. That was inflammatory but it was followed up by a report that actually sent TSLA stock down in premarket trading in response.
On June 3, Reuters reported that Musk had sent another email to Tesla executives. Stating that he had a “super bad feeling” about the economy, he ordered global hiring halted, suggesting the company needs to cut 10% of its positions. TSLA stock dropped as much as 5% in premarket trading.
Even after a rally over the past week, TSLA stock remains down by over a third in 2022. That’s tempting. But, if Elon Musk is worried about the economy, should you be buying Tesla stock at this point? If you’re in it for the long-term, it’s still a smart buy. Here’s why.
Are Recessions As Tough on Luxury Cars?
There is no doubt that recessions are tough on car makers. Go back to the 2008, and two of the big three U.S. auto makers were facing bankruptcy. It took billions of dollars in government bailouts to keep them afloat.
The thing is, not all car sales feel the impact of a recession in the same way. Average consumers may stop buying cars, but that doesn’t mean wealthier people are feeling the same pressure. Here’s a perfect example of that logic in action. Canada’s CBC reported in October 2009 that the country’s auto sales dropped 3.5%, with some manufacturers seeing double-digit declines. However, in the same period, luxury car sales were up 10%.
Even if they do eventually feel the bite of a recession, luxury auto makers often recover more quickly, and then see sales surge. That also happened in the aftermath of the 2008 recession.
Tesla is a luxury car brand. If we enter a recession — and that’s still an “if” — then history says the impact will be limited. Tesla may even come out ahead.
Don’t Forget, the TWTR Nonsense Will End
Tesla stock is down 37% since April 4. That is the date that Elon Musk announced he had bought a 9.2% stake in Twitter. That was the date when TSLA stock began to take a beating as a direct result.
Investors have a range of concerns. They worry that running Twitter would distract Musk from his duties at Tesla. They also worry that the TSLA stock pledged by Musk as collateral for a loan to buy Twitter could be unloaded, triggering broader sell-offs of Tesla shares. It could bring closer SEC scrutiny on Musk. His involvement with Twitter could also turn off some potential Tesla buyers.
There’s a lot of speculation involved here, but one way or another it will end — quite possibly with Musk walking away from the deal, paying the $1 billion termination fee or ending up in court.
Whether this ends with Musk owning Twitter, or the deal falling apart, eventually it will fade into the background. At that point, the 37% of its value that TSLA stock has shed as a result of this episode is back in play.
Bottom Line: Should You Buy TSLA Stock?
Expect Tesla stock to experience ongoing volatility for a while. Between Elon Musk’s Twitter dalliance, the impact of Covid shutdowns at Tesla’s Shanghai gigafactory, inflationary pressures on EV components, and the threat of a recession, there is a lot out there to create turbulence.
However, this Portfolio Grader “A” rated stock is a solid bet to kick into growth mode once this turbulence is over. If you buy TSLA stock at current prices, in all likelihood it will become a high-performance anchor in your long-term growth portfolio.
On the date of publication, neither Louis Navellier nor the InvestorPlace Research Staff member primarily responsible for this article held (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.