Elon Musk has already become the world's richest person on the ascendancy of Tesla Inc. But it will be SpaceX, rather than the hyped electric-car maker, that lifts him to trillionaire status, according to a Morgan Stanley analyst.
The private space-exploration company "is challenging any preconceived notion of what was possible and the time frame possible, in terms of rockets, launch vehicles and supporting infrastructure," Morgan Stanley's Adam Jonas wrote Tuesday in a note titled, "SpaceX Escape Velocity ... Who Can Catch Them?"
SpaceX currently makes up less than 17% of Musk's $241.4 billion net worth, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. And that's after the company was valued at $100 billion in a secondary share sale earlier this month.
Jonas, who has a $200 billion bull-case valuation for SpaceX, wrote that he views it as multiple companies in one, encompassing space infrastructure, Earth observation, deep-space exploration and other industries. Its Starlink satellite-communications business is the biggest contributor to his valuation estimate.
Musk as the world's first trillionaire has been posited before -- but largely due to Tesla's predicted share performance. Tesla's red-hot run that kicked off last year sent Musk's net worth soaring, and the surge hasn't really abated. On Monday alone, it boosted its founder's net worth by $6.6 billion.
Musk is calculated to own about half of SpaceX, so the rocket company still has a ways to go before it can single-handedly lift its founder into four-commas orbit.
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