Shortly after Elon Musk changed his perspective to deal with the prospect of Tesla's earnings, he faced severe social media backlash, primarily on Twitter, due to his odd behavior on an earnings conference call. And once they were on the call", Musk admitted, "I should have answered their questions live. The executive has been critical in the past of investors who "short" Tesla shares, meaning they are betting that the stock will decline. Tesla's stock dropped as much as 9 percent on Thursday, hours after he avoided answering the question about Tesla's ability to raise capital.
Explaining his decision in a string of tweets - which Mr Musk prefaced with a warning to "ignore unless you're interested in a tedious discussion about Tesla stock" - he said that the company was the most shorted stock on the market.
To Musk's credit, in his erratic tweetstorm that included several tweets to critics and random people on Twitter, he did acknowledge in a tweet that he shouldn't have dismissed the analysts.
One interesting fact is that Tesla is still losing money on every Model 3 it builds, particularly as it has had to cut back on automation in certain areas of production until it can iron out some kinks. Tesla built just 2,400 of the sedans in the first six months of production, although the company says it is now building approximately that amount per week and targets a 5,000-per week figure in the next two months.
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Tesla shares are up 1.1% in Friday trading but off 3.3% over the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 10%. But short sellers, who shorted almost 400,000 shares on Thursday, doubled that amount on Friday, according to financial analytics firm S3 Partners.
Musk's antics on the freaky call pushed the electric vehicle maker's shares down on Thursday, with several analysts making scathing comments and at least three brokerages cutting price targets on the stock.
It's no secret that Tesla has experienced a series of issues with the manufacturing of its Model 3 saloon. If his account checks out, it's not hard to see why Musk would be annoyed.
"That has an impact but it's not something that will prevent them from raising capital", Houchois said. "Next. Boring questions are not cool".
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As for whether this is the last of Musk's odd behavior, that seems unlikely.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Wednesday made another round of headlines after a handful of contentious exchanges with analysts during an earnings report conference call.
Next, Musk was asked many questions by Galileo Russell, a 25-year-old retail investor, and owner of a YouTube Channel.
At least three brokerages cut price targets on the stock following the call.
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Sacconaghi wrote in a note on Thursday that "we do worry that such theatrics will unnecessarily undermine investor confidence in Tesla's outlook".