- Tesla CEO Elon Musk attacked sell-side analysts from Bernstein and RBC apparently because they supported short sellers of Tesla stock.
- Tesla is at a critical point in its 15-year history, losing vast amounts of money while still riding a high stock price.
- Musk hasn’t endured this serious a threat to his vision since Tesla’s early days, and the strain is showing.
If you were the CEO of a company that had been around for 15 years, never posted an annual profit, but had seen a nearly 1,000% appreciation in your stock and were considered — by some — to be the reincarnation of either Leonardo da Vinci or Thomas Edison, would you take to Twitter to pick fights with an obscure group of finance wonks who ask you somewhat difficult questions after you were required by US securities law to disclose that you lost over $700 million in three months?
You would if you were the new Elon Musk, who once hovered above the Wall Street fray but now realizes that he’s far more dependent on the capital markets than he ever wanted to be.
If you haven’t been keeping up, Musk flipped out on a call with analysts on Wednesday after Tesla announced another huge quarterly loss. When asked about Tesla’s capital needs and whether customers are avidly converting reservations for the company’s Model 3 vehicle to actual paying orders, he huffed and puffed and turned the call over to a YouTube fanboy, who then gave Musk the opportunity to talk about lots of awesome futuristic Tesla stuff for something like 20 minutes.
Tesla’s stock, which had been rallying, tanked.