Electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Tesla (TSLA) has been a favourite of retail stock investors betting on the clean energy transition and admirers of the company’s often-controversial CEO Elon Musk.
With a market capitalisation of around $635.37bn at the time of writing (2 March), Tesla was the world’s seven-largest company by value. The company launched its shares on the stock market in June 2010 at $17 a share; a decade later the stock was trading around $1,000 – a gain of more than 5,700%.
The share price soared as the company expanded its manufacturing capacity and vehicle sales, peaking at an all-time high in November 2021. However, the price dropped by 51% in 2022 as financial markets sold off heavily and the stock has lost some of its lustre since Musk acquired social media platform Twitter.
Tesla split its stock in August 2020, allocating investors five shares for each share they held at that time. On 25 August 2022, the company’s shareholders approved a second stock split, this time on a 3-for-1 basis.
By increasing the total number of shares in circulation, a stock split does not affect a company’s market value. It reduces the price for each share. This can make a stock more attractive to retail investors with small portfolios, especially if their brokerage does not allow them to buy fractional shares.
How much of Tesla’s stock do retail investors own? And how does that compare to insider ownership and institutional investment in the company?
If you’re considering investing in the EV company, it’s important to understand who owns the most shares. The biggest Tesla shareholders can move the share price if they buy or sell large volumes of the stock, affecting the value of your position.
Who owns Tesla stock?
Retail investors accounted for the largest block of shares at around 1.36 billion, or 43.16%, as of 2 March, according to WallStreetZen. Institutional investors accounted for 42.84% of stock ownership, totalling 1.35 billion shares, down from a 43.01% share late last year. Company executives held 14% of the stock, or 442.8 million shares.