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Technology dynamo Elon Musk announced Tuesday that he may take Tesla private, sending the Internet into a spiral of speculation about whether he was actually legit.

But former SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt told CNBC he saw problems with Musk's tweets, noting that the mention of a go-private price is "highly unprecedented ... and raises significant questions about what his intent was".

During the conference call accompanying the results, Mr Musk said he expected the company to avoid going back to the markets for capital and to be "essentially self-funding on a go-forward basis". In the future, once Tesla enters a phase of slower, more predictable growth, it will likely make sense to return to the public markets.

The rally after Musk's tweet unleashed fresh pain for short-sellers in Tesla, the most shorted USA stock.

Tesla posted a new blog to its site, essentially a copy-and-paste of an email Musk sent to Tesla's employees regarding taking the company private again.

Musk said he has no intention of combining the electric auto maker and the private space company under one umbrella.

The stock was halted at $367 a share shortly after 2 p.m. (ET), as some grew concerned that Musk's tweets were an attempt at market manipulation.

Tesla's shares were at $362.74 prior to the share halt being lifted.

A leveraged buyout of Tesla, which went public in 2010 on Nasdaq and which sports a market capitalization of almost $64 billion, or other take-private transaction would represent an abrupt change in financial strategy.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk's discussion of privatizing the company's shares sparked a seesaw in prices before trading was suspended.

Musk - the company's top investor, with more than 20 percent of its shares - has long waged war against the short sellers betting the company's value will plummet.

"If the process ends the way I expect it will, a private Tesla would ultimately be an enormous opportunity for all of us", Musk said.

Tesla has not confirmed whether the tweet was real - or if the CEO's account was hacked.

In an interview with Bloomberg News in January 2015, he spoke of the benefits of running his closely held rocket company Space Exploration Technologies Corp. and his frustrations with having taken Tesla public in June 2010.

George Galliers of Evercore ISI said he believed the tweet was serious.

The stock had already been heading upwards after news about a Saudi Arabian fund with a large (about 3 to 5 percent) stake in the electric vehicle company.

"I can't believe this is something to bluff or make fun of".


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