Elon Musk apologizes for brushing off analysts on past earnings call

02 August, 2018, 16:32 | Author: Shannon Aguilar
  • The electric car automaker says it is trying to boost production to 10,000 Model 3 cars a week

Tesla reported a larger loss per share than expected in the second quarter, but there was more revenue and less of a cash burn than expected - all of which resulted in an after-hours surge in share prices that at one point amounted to more than 10 percent.

Among the many faces of Elon Musk-for a glimpse of how many, look no further than the Musk memes-the Tesla CEO seems to have found the persona most likely to make him rich: Apologetic Elon.

Shares rose more than 5 percent in after-market trading.

Tesla, which has posted profit only in two quarters since becoming a public company eight years ago, broke another record for quarterly net loss on Wednesday, smashing the previous record of $709.6 million set in the first quarter. The compay reported an adjusted net loss of $3.06 per share, more than analysts expected.

In the first-quarter call in May, Mr Musk cut off Mr Sacconaghi for what he called "boring, bonehead" questions and said Mr Spak's questions were "so dry". That's substantially less than the 2017 level of $3.4 billion.

Tesla stock surged as much 12 per cent in after-hours trading and were up 9.1 per cent at $US328.15 as of 7:28 pm in NY. Tesla would use money generated from sales to fund big projects such as an estimated $US2 billion new factory in China and another plant in Europe, he said.

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"Due to the density of the line and the relatively high downtime of the lifters, ramping [main general assembly line] GA3 became substantially more complicated than we had anticipated", the company noted.

Free cash flow, a key metric of financial health, narrowed to negative US$739.5 million in the second quarter from negative US$1 billion in the first quarter, excluding costs of systems for its solar business.

The all-electric automaker said that it had made $4 billion in vehicle, battery and leasing revenue during the second quarter of the year, a sharp increase over the same quarter last year because it had finally introduced its newest Model 3 sedan.

"I'm super happy", said Ross Gerber, CEO of Gerber Kawasaki Wealth & Investment Management and one of Tesla's most outspoken bulls. Tesla said in its shareholder letter that the Model 3's gross margin "turned slightly positive" in Q2, and the boost in production could move that figure up to 15 percent by quarter's end.

Tesla said its weekly production rate reached the 5,000 mark for the Model 3, plus a combined 2,000 for the Model S high-end sedan and the Model X SUV, for "multiple" weeks in July.

After quietly upgrading its semi-autonomous driving suite, Autopilot, almost a year ago, Tesla has been working hard on its next-generation hardware.

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