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".
The furor over Musk's tweets has led to a halt on $TSLA trading. It has lost money on an operating basis every year since it went public and it's been burning through billions of dollars as it's ironed out production issues with its Model 3 sedan. Factoring in $US8.8 billion ($11.9 billion) in debt, Musk's ganja-friendly target price to go private would value the company at around $US80 billion ($107.8 billion).
Musk said in subsequent tweets that he would remain chief executive under a go-private transaction and that any deal would benefit shareholders.
In the email, Musk said taking Tesla private would be "all about creating the environment for Tesla to operate best". The numbers from the report indicate that the PIF, which has more than $250 B in assets, has a stake of between $1.7 B and $2.9 B at Tesla's current share price.
Short sellers - investors who offer to sell shares in the stock in the future (that they may not own, which is legal) at a price lower than curent price, in hope the stock falls even more - were liable for $884 million in losses Tuesday.
There's also a question of the funding Musk claims he has "secured".
Representatives for the Saudi fund weren't immediately available for comment on the investment, which the Financial Times first reported earlier Tuesday.
Musk's surprise announcement comes as the Financial Times revealed that a fund controlled by the Saudi Arabian government holds a stake of between three and five percent in the company. The California vehicle maker has burned through US$1.8-billion in the first half of 2018 and is among the most-shorted stocks on the USA markets.
In a second tweet on Tuesday, Mr Musk said taking the company private would not lead to a single dominant shareholder.
On April Fool's Day, amid growing market concerns about Tesla's cash crunch, he had tweeted a fake news release that said Tesla would have to file for bankruptcy.
Tesla shares jumped after a tweet from Musk's verified Twitter account that mentioned taking the company private at a $420 per share price.
The plan would need shareholder approval, but Musk's tweet sent Tesla stock spiking by nearly 9%.
A buyout at US$420 per share probably won't let Musk reap any benefit from the US$2.6b stock option grant he received this year. "Funding secured", Mr Musk wrote in his first tweet, following up with "good morning" and a smiley emoji. "His mission for Tesla (to accelerate the globe's adoption of sustainable energy) is both grand and long-term, making it hard to accommodate investors quarterly expectations". He also wrote that "once Tesla enters a phase of slower, more predictable growth, it will likely make sense to return to the public markets".
But the market appeared to take him seriously with Tesla shares surging on the news.