Elon Musk Apologizes for Dismissing Finance Questions; Tesla Stocks Fall Anyway

05 May, 2018, 02:00 | Author: Regina Lloyd
  • Elon Musk has had to contend with production problems with the Model 3 car

Musk, who's been known for his quirky behavior, came under scrutiny after the conference call for Tesla's quarterly earnings Wednesday went awry. He decided instead to take questions from a Tesla investor and Musk acolyte.

The call was moving along relatively smoothly until Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi asked about the electric auto maker's capital requirements.

Tesla shares fell as much as 1.2 per cent as of 9:35 a.m.in NY, a day after Musk's behavior on the company's earnings call sent the stock down by the most in more than a month.

"As soon as the Model 3 gets out to the masses, you're going to see the public view of this investor's view of this story is going to turn more positive", he said.

Musk claims that the questions that were ignored were from short-sellers "who were trying to justify their Tesla short thesis". But that's no reason to hand the call over to a blogger from YouTube for a dozen questions that spanned 23 minutes, which is what Musk did.

Musk suggested that the reason he dismissed the questions was because the analysts didn't have "buy" ratings on Tesla stock.

With his pointed comments on social media, Musk is doubling down on the defiant attitude he displayed on Wednesday's earnings call - one that infuriated analysts across Wall Street. Sell-side analysts work for brokerage firms and evaluate a company's future earnings growth. "They're killing me", he said before moving on from Spak and Sacconaghi's questions.

Tesla's stock price dropped to $283 on Thursday, down from a record of $389 reached in September. Perhaps by the time Tesla needs more money, Musk's antics will be forgotten, or at least accepted as Elon being Elon. "Boring, bonehead questions are not cool".

Tesla tore through $745.3 million in cash in the quarter, due largely to the slow production ramp-up of the Model 3 mass-market electric sedan. By the time Spak had the floor and inquired about the number of reservations for Tesla's Model 3 vehicle, Musk shut it down by saying he simply didn't want to answer "dry" questions.



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