Friday, 19 October, 2018

Elon Musk Takes on Short Sellers Ahead of Earnings

2019 Jaguar I Pace S 2019 Jaguar I Pace SEnlarge
| 02 August, 2018, 18:26

Musk and CFO Deepak Ahuja admitted that even production of the auto was plagued with problems; Tesla launched a new production line in a massive tent, shuffled its worker base, and worked round the clock to hit the 5,000-Model 3s-a-week target.

Mr Musk said he expects the company to achieve sustained quarterly net profits from now on, barring an unforeseen event, supplier problems or economic downturn. Still, the company promises to produce 6,000 cars per week this month and expects to product 50,000-55,000 Model 3s in Q3. Analysts expected a loss of $2.92 per share on revenue of $3.92 billion.

Chief executive officer Elon Musk pledged to post net profits in future quarters and on a conference call on Wednesday apologised to two analysts he cut off on the company's first-quarter call. After struggling mightily to mass-manufacture a vehicle for the first time, the company is gaining momentum with the Model 3 sedan that's critical to its bid to start making money. Tesla stock was down 3.4 per cent this year through Wednesday's close.

Tesla is continuing its elusive search for overall profitability, as it reported a loss of USD 743 million for the Q2 - marginally lower compared to losses of USD 770 million and USD 785 million in the previous two quarters.

Free cash flow, a key metric of financial health, narrowed to negative $740 million in the second quarter from negative $1 billion in the first quarter, excluding solar business costs. Many analysts have questioned how long he can stay insistent, citing lingering doubts that the company can sustain higher Model 3 production levels and afford to pay off some of the liabilities looming on its balance sheet. "It's not right", he told an analyst from RBC Capital Markets.


Tesla ended June with about $2.2 billion in cash, the least it's carried since the first quarter of 2016.

On Twitter, Elon Musk asked for developers to consider joining Tesla to make games optimized for its vehicles.

Musk, the eccentric billionaire, has been a lightning rod for controversies.

Tesla spent millions as it reached a goal of producing 5000 Model 3 sedans per week by the end of June. This quarter, Tesla hit its 5,000-car-per-week production goal "multiple times" in July-meaning it's not hitting this rate consistently. A year ago, the goal was to get there in 2018.

Tesla has done an excellent job of keeping investors on their toes.

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