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Elon Musk kinda, sorta admits he messed up
05 May 2018, 01:32 | Camille Rivera
Elon Musk calls out Tesla skeptics in a tweetstorm 2 days after his confrontational earnings call
Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk on Wednesday raised eyebrows by cutting off analysts' questions about capital requirements after the company reported a record loss for the first quarter. "We're going to go as long as there are good questions to answer", he said of the question and answer phase of the call.
Yet the TeslaCEO also mounted a defense of the call that may raise even more questions about his handling of the situation, which continues to overshadow the company's actual results. Sorry. These questions are so dry. Chief executive Elon Musk is already talking candidly about the new auto, and the firm has also hinted at the Model Y's design through an official teaser image released a year ago.
Musk later called media stories questioning the safety of autonomy "outrageous".
His actions had immediate consequences. 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.
Musk's insults, and his refusal even to respond to legitimate questions, made for one of the weirdest corporate earnings conference calls in recent memory. "This is a financial analyst call; this is not a TED talk", Sacconaghi told CNBC.
"I'm not here to convince you to buy our stock", Musk said. "The percentage of Tesla's available stock now sold short exceeds 25 percent, according to FactSet".
Musk suggested that the two questioners he ignored on the Q1 call "are sell-side analysts who represent a short-seller thesis, not investors". If his account checks out, it's not hard to see why Musk would be annoyed.
Just after the electric auto and solar panel company announced a record first-quarter loss, the Tesla CEO cut off two analysts who sought some basic answers: details about the company's cash needs and orders for its all-important Model 3 mass-market electric vehicle. Musk explained that the Model 3 already has about half a million reservations, "despite no advertising & no cars in showrooms". He stated that even after the company reaches 5,000 vehicles in production per week, and even if new sales dropped all the way to zero, it would take two years to satisfy existing demand.
"Oh and uh short burn of the century comin soon".
Nord LB analyst Frank Schwope said that Musk's refusal to answer questions or receive criticism was "not very clever" but added that his ability to find new money was still intact. That's quite interesting given the company is still facing difficulties with the Model 3 production.
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