Elon Musk is perhaps one of the most influential businessmen of our generation. From Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) to SpaceX and many other disruptive businesses, Elon Musk has transformed certain industries and made his mark on how the future economy will be shaped.
However, his most recent $44 billion purchase of Twitter in October 2022 has been an apparent cause of dissatisfaction among users and shareholders. The platform, now known as “X,” has seen a steep decline in value, dropping from $44 billion to roughly $14 billion. Top users are posting 25% less since the acquisition, and the rebrand is expected to further reduce the platform’s value by up to $20 billion.
Elon Musk’s investment in Twitter appears to have been less than fruitful. What other options could he have pursued with this venture? Here are three companies I think would have been a better investment.
Lithium Americas (LAC)
Gold is a haven in uncertain markets, but lithium thrives during economic upturns. Lithium Americas (NYSE:LAC), headquartered in Vancouver, could have been a valuable addition to Musk’s portfolio, given that the company is a major player in lithium mining.
Lithium, a vital battery material, is an ideal investment for a billionaire with the world’s largest EV company. Lithium Americas aims to secure a $1 billion loan from the U.S. Department of Energy for its Nevada Project, a potential North American lithium giant. This shift reduces reliance on Chinese imports and is right down Musk’s alley (considering the billions in government subsidies he used to get Tesla off the ground).
Rivian Automotive (RIVN)
While Tesla’s Cybertruck production lagged, Rivian (NASDAQ:RIVN) saw surging deliveries, bolstering RIVN stock. An affordable SUV launch and improved gross margins add to the startup’s long-term potential. Positive reviews and Amazon’s use of Rivian’s delivery vans further brighten RIVN’s outlook.
Rivian’s Q3 deliveries reached 15,564 EVs, a 23% increase from Q2, reflecting strong demand and production growth. The company’s backlog extends into 2026. The upcoming R2 SUV, priced from $40,000 to $60,000, is expected to expand its customer base, potentially benefiting RIVN stock. In Q2, the company’s loss per vehicle improved to $32,600 from $157,600 in Q2 2022. CEO R.J. Scaringe expressed confidence in improving margins.
The potential acquisition of a company that’s already producing a high-quality EV truck makes sense, especially considering how unattractive the Cybertruck is (at least for the average buyer who isn’t into Star Trek as much as Musk).
Magna International (NYSE:MGA) is a significant OEM manufacturer serving the automotive and EV sectors, including ADAS. It offers diversification and a lower-risk approach for investors in the autonomous driving field. MGA stock offers over a 28% return potential, making it a solid choice among emerging EV firms.
Magna revised its 2025 revenue guidance, with a mid-point of $48 billion, showing a promising range of $46.7 billion to $49.2 billion. The strong performance of its Power & Vision unit is a key driver, positioning the company well in the global vehicle electrification wave.
Additionally, Magna’s recent deal to supply its eDrive system to a European luxury car manufacturer signals growing confidence in its technology and potential for similar future partnerships. Moreover, Magna International’s diversification has solidified its presence in the EV OEM sector, making it a promising and sensible investment choice. It’s also one of those stocks Elon Musk could have bought instead.
On the date of publication, Chris MacDonald did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.