Investors Don’t Seem Thrilled With Anheuser-Busch, Tesla Transparency

Tesla Motors announced today it would open its patents up to automakers.
Tesla Motors announced today it would open its patents up to automakers. –AFP/Getty Images

It can be overly simplistic to look at something as complex as the stock market, point to very recent news, and say investors feel one way or the other about something.

But jeez, it sure looks that way with both Anheuser-Busch and Tesla Motors, as it pertains to corporate transparency and proprietary information.

Both companies opened themselves up to the outside some today.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in a blog post the company wouldn’t sue anybody who infringed on their patents. “If we clear a path to the creation of compelling electric vehicles, but then lay intellectual property landmines behind us to inhibit others, we are acting in a manner contrary to that goal,’’ Musk wrote.


And Anheuser-Busch, responding to an online petition demanding brewers reveal their ingredients, announced it would do just that. The company sounded similarly altruistic, saying in a statement: “[A]s American consumer needs evolve, we want to meet their expectations.’’

The results? Tesla shares, which were up more than $4 around noon, were down nearly a dollar on the day at close. Anheuser-Busch also fell a little more than a dollar on the day. Those shares were already headed down before the announcement, but saw a precipitous drop around the time the company said it would open up about ingredients. (That timeframe is judging in part by the tweet below, sent to the blogger who led the petition effort.)

Company news obviously has an effect on stocks to some extent, but it can be overstated. And maybe tomorrow, both companies will open on a tear; Anheuser-Busch is already up after hours, and some predicted Tesla’s action would actually boost its stock. But on a day when two publicly-traded companies decided they were okay with people knowing how the sausage is made, it looks like their stakeholders might not have been totally thrilled to hear it, at least not at first.

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