Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) founder Elon Musk’s net worth is just about to add another digit, reaching $9.7 billion after Tesla stocks jumped 12.6% after the car company impressed investors with its fourth quarter and full-year 2013 earnings, according to a Wealth-X report.
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) beat already optimistic expectations and said that it expects to sell 35,000 Model S sedans next year, and that it is ramping its production capacity up to 1,000 cars per week. While problems with battery production have delayed the launch of the luxury Model X until 2015, the setback wasn’t enough to hold back the company’s stock, which passed $210 to reach a new all-time high. Rumors that Musk’s recent meeting with Apple may have focused on a future acquisition also has people excited, though Musk wouldn’t comment on the content of the meeting.
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Musk started his career by founding PayPal
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s Musk first became known for co-founding PayPal, the now ubiquitous online payment processing company that was sold to eBay in 2002 as a stock-for-stock deal with a fixed exchange rate of 0.38 eBay share per PayPal share, valued at $1.5 billion at the time. PayPal has arguably outgrown its parent company, and Musk (along with Carl Icahn and others) have called for it to be spun off so that it won’t get held back by the struggling auction site.
Tesla stock shot up in 2013
In 2003 Musk started Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), which first came out with the Tesla Roadster in 2008. The company was losing money on R&D and capital expenditures, and many doubted its long-term success, until last year when it finally started turning a profit and expanding internationally. Investors have mostly changed their tune, and Tesla’s stock has been driven sky high since then. Its valuation is about half that of GM’s and its PE multiple is an order of magnitude higher than other auto manufacturers, which has caused even fans of the company to question its stock price.
Musk is also the founder of SpaceX, a company with the long-term goal of helping people colonize Mars, but which settles for developing advanced rockets and conducting private launches for commercial clients. If all that wasn’t enough, he’s also talked about developing a prototype for a new type of public transport that would be faster and cheaper than rail. Called the hyperloop, the billionaire entrepreneur originally proposed it in August 2013 for transit up and down the west coast, and offered to make a working model to prove that it would work after no one else stepped up to the challenge.