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Tesla bull Cathie Wood left nearly $130 million on the table by selling early

October 26, 2021, 4:19 PM UTC

On Monday, Tesla’s market capitalization topped $1 trillion for the first time, after Hertz announced plans to order 100,000 Tesla sedans for its fleet.

The milestone upped CEO Elon Musk’s net worth by $36.2 billion in a single day—and many Tesla bulls celebrated their good fortune. But ARK Invest founder Cathie Wood, the high-flying investment manager who has long championed the electric-vehicle maker, might have been a bit less enthusiastic. She had sold off a big chunk of her Tesla holdings just days before.

On Friday, ARK Invest and ARK Next Generation Internet ETF sold a total of 80,354 Tesla shares—a haul estimated to be worth $73.09 million. In the late September to early October time frame, Wood’s funds offloaded another 381,000 Tesla shares.

Friday’s trades alone represented some $13.9 million left on the table. The shares sold in late September would have accrued another $115 million in value.

Wood lost out on some potential profit by selling early, but she has seen significant gains in the time ARK has held Tesla shares. Tesla is still a significant part of the ARK Innovation ETF. Bloomberg, at the start of October, said the company made up 11% of the holdings, noting ARK tends to sell shares whenever that stake tops 10%.

ARK, famously, has set a 2024 price target of $7,000 on Tesla shares. When Wood sells, it sometimes confuses investors.

Last year, though, she explained the rationale for doing so to CNBC, saying, “It never lost the No. 1 position in our funds. If we had not taken profits in its ride up from $178 to $900 or nearly $1,000, it would’ve been…maybe over 20% of the fund. That would not be wise portfolio management. We like to control our position sizes.”

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