Tesla stock’s losing streak continues after report of hiring freeze, layoff plans


Electric-vehicle maker Tesla Inc.’s shares declined for the fourth consecutive session Wednesday, after a report of a hiring freeze and plans for layoffs.

Tesla TSLA, -0.17% is planning layoffs for the first quarter and is instituting a hiring freeze, Electrek reported on Wednesday, citing a person familiar with the matter. The decision, Electrek noted, would follow extensive growth for the company and a 61% drop for Tesla’s TSLA, -0.17% stock through this year, with much of the fall coming after Chief Executive Elon Musk’s wrangling to eventually buy Twitter and what some analysts have characterized as erratic oversight of the social-media platform.

The scope of the hiring freeze and layoffs were not immediately clear. Tesla did not respond to a request for comment. Tesla and its subsidiaries had 99,290 full-time employees at the end of 2021.

Read more: Tesla stock closes lower than $150 for first time in more than two years as analysts say they can’t ignore Elon Musk’s Twitter ‘nightmare’ anymore

Shares fell 0.2% to 137.57 on Wednesday, their fourth consecutive daily decline and the 11th decline in the past 13 sessions. Shares have declined 12.7% collectively in the four-session losing streak, and are on track for their worst month, quarter and year on record from a percentage standpoint. Shares lost support at $150 Monday, which one analyst called “a critical battle line to defend beyond further weakness.”

Reuters reported in June that Musk said Tesla needed to cut roughly 10% of its salaried positions, saying he had a “super bad feeling” about the state of the economy.

Analysts have worried about waning demand for Tesla’s vehicles in China and competition from other electric-vehicle makers. Musk’s hefty sales of Tesla stock and distractions related to his ownership of Twitter have also caused anxiety for shareholders.

In-depth: Tesla investors await clues on demand, board actions and weigh downside risks in 2023

Tesla stock has declined 61% so far in 2022, as the S&P 500 index SPX, +1.49% has dropped 18.6%. Shares have suffered the 12th worst percentage decline among S&P 500 constituents so far this year, according to FactSet, and the electric-vehicle company’s decline in market capitalization would be the fourth worst in the index, MarketWatch’s Phil van Doorn reported Wednesday.


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