Shareholders witnessed the power of Elon Musk’s personal brand on Wednesday, although a much-vaunted SpaceX rocket launch didn’t go as planned.
The weather thwarted attempts to put US astronauts in orbit on Wednesday afternoon. When the launch takes place – it’s postponed for Saturday – this will be the first time that astronauts have been fired from U.S. soil since 2011.
SpaceX is a private company controlled by Elon Musk, the CEO of listed Tesla (ticker: TSLA). The start is, of course, a collaboration between NASA and SpaceX, as space travel developed into a public-private partnership, which in the heyday of the Space Shuttle developed strongly from the 1960s, 1980s and 90s of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo Era differs.
While Tesla isn’t directly connected, BarronsEarlier this week, it was suggested that Tesla could benefit from free launch-related advertising.
The auto industry spends billions annually advertising cars. Tesla, on the other hand, relies on lively events with new models and, in a way, on the personality of Elon Musk. At this point in the company’s history, Tesla is not spending money on the production of commercials that are broadcast on network and cable television.
Even Tesla bears could admit that Musk has a flair for drama. A Tesla Model X transported the two astronauts – Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley – to the launchpad, where they boarded the Crew Dragon capsule perched on a Falcon 9 rocket.
The Model X and its gull wing doors had a lot of airtime on the NASA live stream “Launch America”. Musk was also interviewed during the show. At one point, more than 1 million people were watching the stream as the astronauts buckled up and went through preflight controls. That’s a lot of eyeballs on Tesla product. Barrons saw too and frankly the show was captivating.
NASA, SpaceX and Model X will do everything again on Saturday. The next attempt to start is scheduled for 3:22 p.m. Easter time.
If the launch window was only a few minutes wider, the mission might have started on Wednesday. The weather conditions, which did not meet NASA approval, were neither clouds nor wind, but the strength of the electrical activity in the atmosphere. Getting into space is difficult.
NASA will surely get a passport to blame for the weather. Other companies are not always so lucky. Wall Street’s earnings calls are littered with executives blaming wet, hot, and cold weather for weak quarterly results.
(VMC) for example, wet weather blamed weak volumes during the first quarter call. Vulcan is a major manufacturer of construction equipment – mainly crushed stone, sand and gravel. The stock fell 7% on the day of the earnings report.
Hopefully the weather cooperates on Saturday.
Tesla stock fell 0.7% on Thursday morning. The status of the launch was probably unrelated to the move. Since the beginning of the year, the shares have risen by about 95%, which is the comparable yield of
Dow Jones industry average
over the same period of time.
Vulcan Materials, on the other hand, has dropped about 22% since the beginning of the year. Many industrial and materials companies underperformed the broader market during the pandemic. The stock recovered after its earnings report and rose more than 4% the next day.
Write to Al Root at [email protected]