Tesla Short Sellers Lose Billions

Tesla’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) better-than-expected deliveries report this week has been bad news for traders betting on a drop in the electric vehicle maker’s stock.

With the shares rallying 17% in the two trading days since the second-quarter report, short sellers have lost an estimated $3.5 billion on a mark-to-market basis, according to data from S3 Partners.

It’s been a painful few months for short sellers, as Tesla shares have soared 73% since bottoming for the year in April. After closing at $246.39 in shortened trading on Wednesday, the stock is a little more than $2 shy of wiping out its loss for the year.

Short interest in Tesla currently stands at 3.5% of float, or 97 million shares shorted, with a $22.4 billion notional value.

Tesla reported second-quarter deliveries on Tuesday of 443,956, topping Wall Street estimates of 439,000. Deliveries fell 4.8% from a year earlier, but the decline wasn’t as steep as the 8.5% year-over-year drop in the first quarter.

While the deliveries report suggested demand for Tesla vehicles remains stronger than feared, it offered a limited view into company performance.

With its autos business mired in a sales decline due to an aging lineup, and stronger competition than ever, Tesla has for months been incentivizing EV purchases with discounts, low- or no-interest financing options and other perks.

TSLA shares $2.48, or 1%, Friday to $248.86.

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