US Senator Shorts Tesla Via Puts, Musk Shot Back At “Gluttons For Punishment”

Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) shares have experienced a challenging period, with sporadic attempts at recovery. In light of this, Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville, known for his recent involvement in military promotion blockades, revealed bearish transactions concerning the electric vehicle giant on Thursday.

Last month, Tuberville executed a series of stock transactions, totaling nearly $3 million, as reported by Quiver Quantitative, an analytics firm monitoring congressional stock trading. Complying with the “Stock Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act,” Senators are obligated to publicly disclose financial transactions within 45 days.

The senator from Alabama opted to purchase three lots of Tesla put options while divesting all Tesla shares on the same day. This decision aligns with the downward trend in Tesla stock following the company’s third-quarter results announcement on October 18. Closing at $254.85 on October 17, the stock plummeted to $194.07 by October 31 before modestly recovering.

The recorded value of the sales transaction stands at $1,001-$15,000. Tuberville’s acquisition of three tranches of put options, each valued at $1,001-$15,000, featured a strike price of $190 and an expiration date of December 15, 2023.

A put option grants the holder the right, without the obligation, to sell a specified amount of an underlying security at a predetermined price within a specified timeframe. Typically used as investment insurance or a hedge against losses, it becomes profitable when the underlying security’s value declines.

Not a direct retort on Tuberville, but Elon Musk replied to a post on X about the issue, commenting that those shorting Tesla are “gluttons for punishment.”

In addition to his Tesla-related transactions, Tuberville acquired call options to purchase U.S. Steel Corp. shares, valued between $1,001 and $15,000, with a strike price of $25 and an expiration date of June 21, 2024. He also executed a partial sale of U.S. Steel Corp. shares in two tranches, one valued at $1,001-$15,000 and another at $15,001-$50,000.

Quiver Quantitative highlighted Tuberville’s membership in the Senate Subcommittee on Commodities, providing him with privileged information on the steel market. U.S. Steel Corp. had previously announced in August its exploration of strategic alternatives, providing an update in late October during its earnings release, emphasizing an active and competitive strategic alternatives review process to maximize shareholder value.

Among the various stock transactions made by Senator Tuberville, notable moves include bearish bets on Texas Instruments, Inc. through put option purchases and outright share sales. He also divested shares in railroad operators CSX Corp., Norfolk Southern Corporation, and Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc. In the biopharmaceutical sector, Tuberville purchased shares of AbbVie, Inc. and GlaxoSmithKline plc, while selling shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and Johnson & Johnson.

Information for this briefing was found via Benzinga and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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