Elon Musk’s personal fortune took a hit of almost $13 billion on Thursday as the world watched a SpaceX rocket explode while Tesla delivered underwhelming earnings.
According to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index, which monitors the real-time wealth of the richest people on the planet, Musk’s net worth was depleted of $12.6 billion on Thursday.
Much of Musk’s wealth is derived from shares in Tesla, which tanked nearly 10% on Thursday on the back of a disappointing quarterly earnings report. The plummeting share price erased $58 billion from the company’s market cap.
On Thursday, the company reported net income of $2.51 billion for the first three months of 2023—a year-on-year decline of 24%.
Investors were also put on edge as Musk, Tesla’s CEO, suggested the company would carry on with its price cutting spree to boost demand for its vehicles—even in spite of the squeeze on margins.
On Friday, Tesla hiked U.S. prices following six price cuts so far this year.
While Tesla’s earnings report spooked investors, Musk’s name also appeared in headlines around the world on Thursday when SpaceX’s mammoth Starship rocket exploded minutes into its maiden flight.
Musk said he had “learned a lot” from the launch and suggested the next test launch would go ahead within months.
Congrats @SpaceX team on an exciting test launch of Starship!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 20, 2023
Learned a lot for next test launch in a few months. pic.twitter.com/gswdFut1dK
Musk has seen his wealth propelled upward over the past 10 years with the meteoric rise in value of Tesla share prices, which gained more than 4,000% in the decade since their IPO. He also owns more than 40% of existing shares in SpaceX, according to CNBC, which was reportedly given a private valuation of $137 billion earlier this year.
Despite remaining one of the richest people on the planet, Musk’s wealth has fallen drastically on the back of his Twitter acquisition and a raft of problems at Tesla, including slowing sales. In late 2021, Forbes named him the richest person in history with a fortune nearing $300 billion.
However, according to Bloomberg, Musk now has a net worth of $164 billion.
A year ago, he had a fortune worth $260 billion, the publication’s estimates show.
His current net worth still makes him the second-wealthiest person in the world, but the gap between Musk and first-place Bernard Arnault—founder of luxury goods conglomerate LVMH—has continued to widen in recent months.
Over the past 12 months, Tesla stock has lost around 52% of its value—but much of the stock’s deepest losses have been recovered since the beginning of this year, with the company’s shares gaining 50% since January.
Musk’s wealth decline may not be quite finished, however—in fact, some market watchers’ outlooks for Tesla suggest his net worth could be set for a huge blow.
Thursday’s earnings prompted several analysts to lower their price targets for Tesla, with one predicting the firm’s shares—currently priced at around $163—could nosedive to just $28. Another analyst labeled Tesla “one of the most overvalued” companies on the market, and predicted the stock could drop a further 80%.
Musk was propelled to the top of Bloomberg’s global wealth ranking thanks to Tesla shares gaining more than 4,000% in the decade after the firm’s IPO, while his other companies, like SpaceX, gained traction and secured investment. Just a decade ago, his net worth was $2.7 billion, according to Forbes.