Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) was doing what it does best and making headlines this week. However, with so much attention focused on the electric-car maker's Gigafactory site selection, investors may have missed other key developments. Here are three things you need to know about Tesla Motors' start to the month of September.
Nevada wins Gigafactory deal
Let's get the most obvious piece of news out of the way. Tesla Motors announced this week that Nevada will be the official home of Tesla's $5 billion battery factory. The Silver State beat out five other states for the coveted deal including Texas and California. However, it didn't win the Gigafactory by offering Tesla Motors the richest incentives. Instead, Nevada took home the prize by assuring Tesla's Chief Executive Elon Musk that it would help the EV maker get the factory up and running faster than other states.
"The biggest single factor was time to completion, because unless the Gigafactory is ready when we need to produce the mass market affordable electric car than the vehicle factory will be stalled," Musk explained in an interview with CNBC. By building the large scale factory in the state Tesla can take advantage of Nevada's existing rail line, which links directly to the company's Fremont, California assembly plant. Nevada is also a good fit because it houses the only active lithium mine in the United States today -- a raw material Tesla needs for its lithium-ion batteries.
Tesla has broken ground on the plant's location just outside of Reno, and says it is on schedule to have the Gigafactory open by early 2017.
Insiders are selling
The second thing investors should know about Tesla Motors this week is that key insiders dumped shares. Two of Tesla's directors including Elon Musk's brother Kimbal Musk, as well as its chief financial officer recently sold shares -- dumping a total of 53,606 Tesla Motors shares this week. Does this mean you should dump the stock too? Probably not. It is important to keep an eye on insider selling, but equally important to remember that people sell shares for many reasons.
In fact, it's common to see insider's sell small portions of their overall position when there has been a nice run up in the stock. That's probably the case here. Tesla's stock, after all, is up more than 90% year-to-date and a whopping 1,000% in the past five years. Moreover, Kimbal Musk may have sold more than 18,000 shares this week. However, that's spare change compared to the 161,253 of Tesla Motors common shares he still owns. The other two insiders that sold this week also still hold solid positions in the stock. Not to mention, Elon Musk is still Tesla's largest shareholder, with roughly a 27% stake in the company, according to Forbes. As long as the company's chief executive is heavily invested in this stock, shareholders should feel confident that creating shareholder value is front-of-mind for Tesla's leader and its management team.
Musk speaks out about Tesla's stock price
In more stock related news this week, Tesla's outspoken CEO went on record saying that the company's stock price is "kind of high" these days. The stock was trading lower by nearly 4% in afternoon trading on Friday at around $275 a share. This statement isn't unmerited. Tesla's stock boasts a market cap north of $34 billion today, which is nearly half of Ford's market value, despite Tesla generating less than 1% of Ford's annual revenue.
However, Musk saying that people sometimes get carried away with Tesla's stock wasn't him saying it isn't a good long-term bet. In fact, in the same interview Musk said, "If you care about the long-term of Tesla I think the stock is a good price, if you look about the short-term it's less clear." This should send a clear message to investors: If you want to be in Tesla stock today, you better be in it for the long haul.
There you have it folks, from breaking ground in Nevada to Tesla's CEO commenting on the company's valuation, those are the three things investors need to know about the EV maker this week.
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