Tesla (TSLA) S&P exclusion: ‘Why the rush,’ Ex-Committee head says



Tesla’s (NASDAQ: TSLA) exclusion from the S&P 500 in September came as a shock to many shareholders and investors. However, a former Committee head for the index says that there is no rush, and Tesla’s hype will keep them in the conversation for possible inclusion in the future.

Ever since David Blitzer had retired from his post at the S&P, he had been enjoying a quiet life. However, when the S&P shockingly left Tesla out of its list of newly included companies in September, Blitzer’s phone started ringing off the hook.

“I’ve gotten calls from people who know I haven’t been on the committee for a year and a half and barely ever call me about stocks, and they say, why didn’t they do it?” Blitzer said in an interview with Bloomberg. “The amount of chatter about Tesla is staggering.”

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But, Blitzer isn’t convinced that Tesla’s inclusion will never happen. He just believes that the some are waiting to see if the automaker’s recent rally on Wall Street is for real, or if the stock will backtrack in the coming months.

Tesla stock has grown over five-fold so far in 2020. It has made many investors richer, and many short-sellers poorer. Still, one thing is for certain, the stock’s valuation is not certain. This is where Blitzer believes the hold up is taking place.

“There’s plenty of times when there’s big names, popular names, well-known names that don’t get added the moment they’re eligible,” Blitzer said. The S&P’s goal was never to lump together the biggest companies. It was to construct “a great measure of the market,” he said.

But more so, Blitzer does not understand why so many people are so focused on getting Tesla into the S&P. “I think he real question is, why the rush?”

TSLA stock’s skyrocket in valuation this year has surged the company to be worth nearly $400 billion. The company’s performance on Wall Street, along with other tech heavyweights like Apple and Amazon, have helped the Nasdaq 100 gain 30% in value compared to the same day in 2019. The S&P has only gained 4% so far in 2020.

Tesla (TSLA) is leaving the current S&P 500 index’s performance in the dust

Blitzer says that Tesla’s exclusion is reminiscent of Microsoft’s leaving-out from the S&P from 1986 to 1994. Although Microsoft had a market cap of over $20 billion at the beginning of 1994, the S&P committee left the tech company outside of the index.

Blitzer says that he and his committee were given grief for the decision, but they decided to do it because Microsoft had owned more than half of its outstanding shares, and at least 50% must be floating for public investors to purchase.

“After the fact — they sold off some stock, we put in the index, everybody figured they’d forget — we still got complaints. So there have been other big ones, but I guess some of us learned to shrug and say, ‘we’ll wait ‘til next month,’” Blitzer said.

The Microsoft ordeal taught Blitzer that patience is the way to handle the inclusion of some companies where their future is uncertain. While Tesla’s run in 2020 is impressive, he states that there just needs to be more time to figure out if the run is for real.

Disclaimer: Joey Klender is a TSLA Shareholder.

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