These Stocks Are Still Feeling The Heat From Elon Musk's Twitter Blue Dumpster Fire

Zinger Key Points
  • A fake Eli Lilly Twitter account said it would be giving away free insulin last week. Shares plunged 5%.
  • Lockheed Martin, PepsiCo and BP have all fallen victim to Twitter imposters in the wake of Musk's Twitter Blue changes.

Tesla Inc TSLA CEO Elon Musk kicked off his first week at the helm of Twitter with a bang — but it backfired.

What Happened: Musk finalized his $44-billion deal to acquire the social media platform at the end of October.

The Tesla CEO initially agreed to purchase the company back in April before attempting to walk away from the deal. Twitter subsequently sued Musk, but just days ahead of a scheduled court appearance, Musk again agreed to acquire the social media platform on the original terms. Shortly after, the deal went through

Musk immediately hit the ground running. In an effort to tackle the social media platform's cash burn problems, Musk enacted a new premium feature allowing user accounts to obtain a verified checkmark for $7.99 per month. 

The Twitter Blue package also includes early access to new features. Musk previously said the paid package would include the ability to post long video and audio formats. The CEO also noted that Twitter Blue users would see about half as many advertisements and receive priority in replies, mentions and search functions. 


Related Link: After Elon Musk's Twitter Blue Chaos, Platform Now 'Rolling Out' New Feature To Enable Companies Authenticate Users

Why It Matters: In its initial rollout, the ability to pay for a blue checkmark caused chaos across business accounts on the platform. Several impersonators were able to turn "unverified" accounts into what appeared to be "verified" accounts of popular companies with existing social media presences. 

Twitter began offering the $8 package to select users in the middle of last week; it was unavailable by Friday. Here's a look at some of the companies that were impacted and how their stock prices are faring following the debacle. 

  • Eli Lilly And Co LLY: A fake "verified" Eli Lilly account let the world know that it would be giving away free insulin last week. Eli Lilly tweeted from its official account later in the day, apologizing to all who had read the fake tweet. The stock plunged nearly 5% before fighting back. Eli Lilly shares are up 1.88% at $358.93 on Monday, but the stock is still trading well below the $368 level where it opened for trading Friday morning. 
  • Lockheed Martin Corp LMT: Lockheed Martin also saw its stock come under attack as a result of a tweet from an imposter account last week. The fake account tweeted that it would stop selling weapons to Saudi Arabia, Israel and the U.S. pending human rights violation investigations. Shares fell more than 5% and remain under pressure.
  • PepsiCo Inc PEP: An imposter account registered under @PEPICO tweeted "Coke is better" on Friday. The stock has traded flat over the last two trading sessions. PepsiCo shares were down 0.06% at $177.94 at publication time.
  • BP P.L.C. BP: Oil giant BP also got caught up in the imposter account madness. "Just cause we killed the planet doesn’t mean we can’t miss it," a verified account impersonating the company said via tweet last week. The stock was down 0.41% at $33.70 Monday afternoon.

Several other misleading tweets from imposter accounts last week included an image from a fake Nintendo account featuring Mario holding up his middle finger and a fake Nestle account mocking the company.

Still, the stock that has been negatively impacted the most throughout this entire saga is Tesla. As Musk focuses more of his time and money on Twitter, Tesla shareholders are left wondering how much time is left for Tesla

Related Link: Elon Musk's Personal Actions Put Investors At Risk, Tesla Bull Re-Ups 2018 Letter

TSLA Price Action: Tesla shares were trading above $350 in April when Musk announced the deal. The stock has been trending lower since.

Tesla shares were down 1.23% at $193.43 Monday afternoon, according to Benzinga Pro.

Photo illustration: Elon Musk and Twitter logo via Wikipedia. Dumpster fire via RODKARV on Shutterstock.

Market News and Data brought to you by Benzinga APIs
Posted In: Social MediaTop StoriesMoversTrading IdeasGeneralElon Musktwitter
Benzinga simplifies the market for smarter investing

Trade confidently with insights and alerts from analyst ratings, free reports and breaking news that affects the stocks you care about.

Join Now: Free!