What pandemic? Tesla really wants an annual in-person meeting

But that won’t do for Elon Musk, a vocal critic of Covid-19’s security measures.

And while almost all major companies have moved to annual virtual shareholder meetings in recent months, Telsa insists it will hold its own meeting the old-fashioned way, in a room full of investors, Tesla executives, and board members.

In a presentation Monday, Tesla said his management and the board value the meetings in person and believe that “Tesla shareholders appreciate the interpersonal connection and dynamics that is only possible with an annual live shareholder meeting.”

But it won’t hold it on July 7 as originally planned.

Instead, Musk revealed on Twitter last weekend that the date has been tentatively reset to September 15. A follow-up presentation from the company, which included screenshots of Musk’s tweets, said a specific date and location for the meeting has yet to be set. set.

The shareholders’ meetings a relic?

Annual shareholders meetings are required by the securities law. The Securities and Exchange Commission issued a guide in April, telling companies that they could switch to virtual meetings with proper notice, urging different parties to be flexible when changing meetings.

Meetings are more important to individual and small investors with long-term interests in companies rather than institutions or day-to-day traders. those who buy and sell stocks quickly. So, for the most part, these gatherings are a relic from a previous investment time. And even most regular in-person meetings already allow online participation.

The most famous and best attended annual meeting each year is generally that of Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA). Typically, tens of thousands of investors with stocks in stocks gather to hear the latest wisdom from the Oracle of Omaha, CEO Warren Buffett. But even that took place practically this year. It included more than four hours of shareholder questions.

Most annual meetings are monotonous matters where company executives set out their vision for the coming year, answer some questions, and sometimes apologize for recent issues or a depressed stock price. Shareholders can offer resolutions, which are rarely approved.

Tesla (TSLA) it has a relatively high percentage of shares held by individual investors. Many are fans of the company and its vision of a world dominated by electric vehicles. Only 51% of Tesla’s shares are owned by institutional investors, compared to more than 60% of the shares of other tech companies like Amazon (AMZN) or Apple (AAPL) and 77% in General Engines (GM).

Musk can expect to see an even friendlier-than-normal crowd at this year’s shareholder meeting given Tesla’s strong performance. The shares broke the $ 1,000 mark for the first time in the company’s history earlier this month and are up 138% year-to-date through the end of Monday. It is a 358% increase since the last company shareholders meeting on June 11, 2019.

Addressing that meeting, critics raised questions about whether Tesla was facing a cash crisis and whether it would ever be consistently profitable. Shares had fallen 35% so far this year at the time of that meeting. Since then, Tesla has reached or exceeded its profit and production targets and the stock has skyrocketed.

“Battery Day” also on tap

Musk said he hopes to combine the postponed shareholder meeting with what Tesla calls “Battery Day,” when the new battery technology will debut.

Such an announcement could overshadow the annual meeting itself. There is much speculation about what advance Tesla will announce.

One possibility: a battery that can last 1 million miles, which could be especially important for autonomous cars used by transportation services, which could stay on the road 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

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There could also be a new announcement about charging speed or distance that can be traveled on a single charge. The Tesla Model S was recently considered by the EPA to be the first electric car with a range of more than 400 miles.
There could also be an announcement about the cost or supply of batteries, which make up a significant part of the cost of an electric car. And Tesla has ambitious expansion plans that will require significantly more battery availability.

Of course, the battery announcement and shareholder meeting can be done virtually instead of having hundreds or thousands of people meeting in person. But Tesla insists on having both events in real life, rather than online.

Which means that both fans and critics will have to wait.