Aug 04, 2022
Tesla investors approve stock split; Musk to add factories
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Preliminary results of the shareholder vote were announced at the electric car and solar panel maker’s annual meeting at its new factory in Austin, Texas.
CEO Elon Musk also discussed at the meeting a major factory expansion in the future as the company moves toward a goal of making 20 million vehicles per year. It now produces around 1.5 million per year.
Musk said Tesla might announce another factory site this year, and it expects to have about a dozen in the future. Currently the company has assembly plants in Fremont, California; Austin; Berlin and Shanghai. Musk joked that many had suggested Canada as a site for the next new plant.
Tesla stock closed Thursday at $925.90, down 12.4% so far this year, but it almost completed a split itself, tumbling more than 40% by May after Musk made a $44 billion bid to buy Twitter in April.
Investors were worried that Musk would be distracted from Tesla if he purchased the social media platform.
But Musk backed out of the deal in July and Twitter sued him to force him to make the purchase. A trial is scheduled for October in Delaware Chancery Court. Tesla stock began to recover in July, boosted by better-than-expected second-quarter earnings.
Tesla announced plans for the split in late March when shares were trading over $1,000. It will not affect Tesla’s overall market value or its status as the world’s most valuable automaker.
Share splits are used by companies when their stock price gets too high for retail investors to buy individual shares, or when a company wants more shares to exist in the marketplace to make the stock more liquid to trade.
Tesla has said it was trying to accomplish both of these goals: giving its employees greater quantities of shares as well as making the stock more accessible to retail investors.
Musk sold some shares of Tesla for the Twitter purchase and had planned on using other shares as collateral.
Shareholders also elected Ira Ehrenpreis and Kathleen Wilson-Thompson to the Tesla board.
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Chicago Cubs are set to release Jason Heyward after the season: Were going to move in a different direction
The situation between the Chicago Cubs and veteran outfielder Jason Heyward felt untenable.
A rebuilding Cubs organization wanting to look at other players did not fit with Heyward and his declining all-around production. What seemed inevitable became reality Monday when president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer announced the Cubs and Heyward will part ways after the season.
Hoyer had an open dialogue with Heyward about the Cubs’ plans, in which a continued union between the sides did not make sense. The Cubs also want to give Heyward the full offseason to find a new team.
“Given where we are as a group and where we’re going to likely be in the corner outfield next year, with Seiya (Suzuki) and Ian (Happ), we’re going to move in a different direction,” Hoyer said. “He struggled last year obviously, and we wanted to see how he bounced back from that and he had an excellent 2020 season. … Obviously he didn’t bounce back well from (2021).”
Heyward, 32, is owed $22 million in 2023, the final season of the eight-year, $184 million contract he signed with the Cubs on Dec. 15, 2015. The Cubs also must pay his $20 million signing bonus over four installments on April 1, 2024-27.
“He doesn’t like it but certainly understands where we are,” Hoyer said. “I think it’s been a frustrating last year and a half, with a lot of the guys that were a big part of why he signed here have been traded away. And so it kind of made sense for both of us and we’ve talked through it and we’re in a good place.”
Heyward was slashing .204/.278/.277 with a 57 OPS+ in 48 games before injuring his right knee in June. He finishes his Cubs career with 744 games played, a .245 batting average, .323 on-base percentage and .700 OPS.
Most memorably, Heyward delivered a speech during the rain delay in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series, giving the Cubs a spark in extra innings to win the franchise’s first title in 108 years.
Heyward is not expected to return before the end of the season because of right knee inflammation. The Cubs’ 40-man roster is not full, so procedurally they can’t put Heyward, who has been out since June 27, on the 60-day injured list.
However, the time Heyward would need to build back up to be game-ready, combined with the Cubs’ outfield depth, has Hoyer and the organization wanting to reallocate at-bats to other players.
Hoyer described Heyward as a great professional and leader whom the Cubs wanted to have around the team this year. There were initial conversations about Heyward potentially having a role in the organization once his playing career is over.
Heyward’s investment in the Chicago community will outlast his time in a Cubs uniform. Among his local contributions, Heyward is helping build a baseball academy in the North Austin neighborhood.
“He certainly had his good moments here, but he had a lot of struggles as well,” Hoyer said, “and when he had those struggles, he never blamed anyone, never stopped working. He was always the guy that showed up in the best shape coming into every season. He was always a guy that was in the cages trying to get better.
“That’s probably how I’ll remember him is that he, from my perspective, never stopped working. He never stopped trying to earn his contract, never stopped trying to be better, and that says a lot.”