Zacks Investment Ideas feature highlights: Tesla, Walgreen Boots Alliance and Oracle

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL - December 31, 2018 - Today, Zacks Investment Ideas feature highlights Features: Tesla TSLA , Walgreen Boots Alliance WBA and Oracle ORCL .

Positive Management Changes Boost Tesla (TSLA) Shares

It's an understatement to say that 2018 was a tumultuous year for electric automaker Tesla. In Q3, the company finally made good on its promise to produce and sell the mass-market Model 3 in significant numbers, producing the positive cash flow and net profits that investors have long waited for.

It certainly wasn't easy, however, and many of the positive and negative developments along the way have centered on a single individual - Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Musk is undeniably the dominant creative force behind Tesla and there's a reasonable argument that Tesla might not even exist without him. His obsession with reducing the world's dependence on fossil fuels and his willingness to sacrifice himself - for instance sleeping inside the factory for weeks on end during a particularly difficult period during the Model 3 manufacturing process - is legendary.

Equally legendary, unfortunately, is some of Musk's more unconventional behavior.

Twitter wars, taunting short-sellers, selling novelty flame throwers, even appearing to smoke marijuana during an interview on comedian Joe Rogan's podcast - it was all entertaining fodder that could be chocked up to the antics of the "eccentric genius." Collectively, we scratched our heads, but it was mostly harmless distraction.

Except for that one infamous tweet: "Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured."

When Musk, as an officer of a public company, made a claim about a potentially imminent corporate action - including a specific price that was significantly higher than the then-current market price - and stated that funding was "secured," many believed that he had crossed the line from entertainment into potential securities fraud.

That's the way the SEC saw it, and they charged Tesla and Musk with fraud in association with that tweet. In a settlement of those charges, Musk agreed to step down as Chairman of the Board for a period of at least three years, Tesla would appoint two new independent directors to the board, put in place new procedures to monitor Musk's public communications and both Tesla and Musk personally would pay $20M fines.

The new Chairman, Robyn Denholm, was appointed in November, the fines have been paid (with Musk buying an additional $20M in shares from the company to reimburse investors, symbolically paying the entire $40M himself), and the communication controls are in place.

All that was left was the appointment of the new directors - and on Friday we got that news.

Tesla picked two winners and the markets are cheering the appointments with Tesla shares up $15/share - or almost 5% - at midday.

One of the new appointees is Kathleen Wilson-Thompson, Global Human Resources Officer for Walgreen Boots Alliance, a previous director at two other public companies. Wilson-Thompson is the consummate corporate professional with an impeccable resume that includes experience at the highest levels of human resources at large companies as well as a Juris Doctorate degree and an LLM in corporate and finance law.

The other appointee is Oracle's Larry Ellison, a longtime Tesla bull and investor who has his own experience as the iconoclastic founder of a tech company, having taken Oracle from a tiny start-up in 1977 to the $163B market cap software giant it is today. Ellison is in a unique position to understand Musk's full-speed-ahead impulses, while also possessing the experience that should help Musk channel those impulses in a positive direction.

A previous criticism of the Tesla board of directors has been that it has been too "chummy" and willing to bend to Musk's will. The holy grail for Tesla would be to combine Musk's creative genius with more conventional corporate governance.

These two new appointments go a long way toward achieving that goal and can only be seen as extremely positive news for Tesla.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss.This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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Tesla, Inc. (TSLA): Free Stock Analysis Report

Oracle Corporation (ORCL): Free Stock Analysis Report

Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (WBA): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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