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Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest Sells $110 Million In Tesla Stock As Insiders Also Dump Shares

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Ark Invest, the New York City investment firm founded by famed Wall Street stock-picker Cathie Wood, sold off a massive stake in Tesla on Wednesday, joining a crop of insiders in cashing out of shares this week as the stock recovers from its lackluster performance this year.

Key Facts

According to Ark’s daily transaction reports, three of the firm’s funds, includings its flagship Ark Innovation ETF, sold a combined 142,708 shares of Tesla on Wednesday, representing a stake worth about $108 million and adding to separate sales of about $166 million since late July.

The newest transactions come just days after Wood touted Tesla’s success and gave shares a price target of $3,000 (nearly 300% more than current levels) in an interview with Yahoo! Finance, saying the company’s growing market share makes it poised to benefit from a nearly 18-fold increase in electric-vehicle sales by 2025.

Though they’ve climbed about 6% over the last month, shares of Tesla, priced at about $757.50, are down nearly 15% from an all-time high in January.

Meanwhile, Wood isn’t alone among noteworthy Tesla investors selling off shares after the recent runup in prices: Three company officers, including two c-suite executives, sold about $4 million worth of stock in a series of transactions this week, according to regulatory filings.

Ark and Tesla did not immediately respond to Forbes’ requests for comment.

Surprising Fact

Though Wood is notably bullish on Tesla, the consensus on Wall Street doesn’t reflect the same lofty expectations. According to Bloomberg data, the average analyst price target for Tesla shares is $701, suggesting shares could fall 8% over the next year. 

Key Background

In the past, Wood has said Ark likes to trade around Tesla’s outsized volatility, taking advantage of low prices to buy, and selling when she feels prices could take a hit. “When we feel like analysts are hyperventilating about a stock—including Tesla—we naturally just take profits because we know we’re going to get another opportunity associated with controversy to buy the stock lower,” Wood said last year after a wave of selling. Despite the recent sales, Tesla still makes up nearly 11% of Ark’s flagship fund, which holds about 3.1 million shares worth a staggering $2.3 billion and also owns outsized stakes in Coinbase, Zoom Video Communications and Spotify. On Wednesday, Ark also sold shares of chipmakers Nvidia and NXP Semiconductors, while picking up stock in software firm UiPath, real estate website Zillow and ecommerce companies Etsy and JD.com.

Tangent

Technology stocks led the market’s rally last year, generating massive returns for tech-heavy investors like Ark. Starting this spring, however, accelerating economic growth and the threat of rising interest rates spurred a stock-market rotation away from growth stocks, like those in tech, to cyclical and value-leaning slices of the market that struggled during the pandemic (like energy and financials). Despite skyrocketing nearly 90% over the past year, the ARK Innovation ETF is up only 5% this year.

Further Reading

Ark Invest’s Cathie Wood Hits Back At ‘Big Short’ Investor: He Doesn’t Understand ‘Explosive Growth’ In Tech (Forbes)

How Cathie Wood Beat Wall Street By Betting Tesla Is Worth More Than $1 Trillion (Forbes)

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