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Fidelity sold about 1 million Tesla shares as Musk shifted gears

Tesla Model 3 Arrive At Port In Shanghai
A few of the more than 1,800 Tesla electric cars, including over 1,600 Model 3s from the United States, that arrived in the port of Shanghai in February.
(VCG via Getty Images)

Fidelity Investments mutual funds sold more than 1 million shares of Tesla Inc. in March, according to the firm’s website.

Fidelity mutual funds sold a net of about 1.4 million shares of the electric carmaker, cutting their combined stake by more than 20%. The sales left the funds holding a total of about 5.24 million Tesla shares at the end of March, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Tesla, led by Elon Musk, had a first quarter marred by a shifting retail strategy, several pricing changes to its electric cars and a drop in deliveries. Tesla reported a wider than expected loss when it posted earnings April 24. The company also announced a major shake-up of its board.

Shares of the Palo Alto-based company fell 2% to $234.01 on Wednesday. They have slid 28% this year through April 30.

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The largest sellers of the stock included the Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund, which divested 406,600 Tesla shares, cutting its stake to 1.01 million shares as of March 29, according to the data compiled from the fund group’s website. The Fidelity Contrafund sold 172,006 shares in March, leaving it with about 263,025 shares at month’s end. And Fidelity OTC Portfolio Fund sold 393,800 shares, equaling almost its entire stake.

A spokesman for Boston-based Fidelity declined to comment.

The Fidelity funds have been steadily reducing their stake in Tesla since the end of 2016, when they reported owning a combined 22 million common shares, the equivalent of a 13.7% stake, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

FMR, the parent for Fidelity Investments, reported holding about 9.1 million Tesla shares on a companywide basis at the end of last year, ranking it as the carmaker’s third-largest investor with a 5.2% stake.

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