Tesla Faces Critical Earnings Call As Musk Fends Off Accusations Of Media Harassment
Tesla is expected to report second quarter earnings Wednesday as questions swirl about the automaker’s financial situation and CEO Elon Musk penchant for harassing journalists.
Analysts will dive headlong into the company’s financials after the report is publicized while also peppering Musk with questions about Model 3 inventories during an earnings call. The report could delve into chaos if recent history repeats its itself.
Tesla managed to hit its goal of making 5,000 Model 3 vehicles per month during the first quarter, albeit under intense circumstances — employees and Musk were forced to work overtime and within a pressure cooker to meet the goal. (RELATED: Elon Musk Catches Flak For Allegedly Using Mafia Tactics To Silence A Tesla Critic)
Revenues are expected to hit $3.79 billion with losses of $2.71 per share, according to Zacks, an investment research group that focuses on the tech world. Tesla will have to do better than that to avoid having its worst ever quarter – the company posted a $710 million loss last quarter.
Tesla’s shares fell 5 percent in early May following Musk’s strange, vaudeville-like, discussion with reporters during an earnings call. Veteran analyst at Morgan Stanley, Adam Jonas, called the earnings call “the most unusual call” he’d ever experienced.
Musk grew increasingly irritated with what he called “boneheaded” questions from media members who participated in the call. “Excuse me. Next. Boring, bonehead questions are not cool. Next?” he said after an analyst from Bernstein lobbed a volley of questions at Deepak Ahuja, Tesla’s chief financial officer, about capital expenditures.
He then shut down another analyst for asking what he determined silly and “dry” questions. Moody’s dropped Tesla’s credit rating shortly before the first quarterly report and changed the company’s outlook to negative as the fledgling Model 3’s production dwindles while the automaker’s financial situation grows dim.
The second quarter report also comes on the heels of accusations that Musk threatened to ruin a financial analyst’s career if the man didn’t stop criticizing Tesla.
A self-proclaimed investment strategist known online only as “Montana Skeptic” claimed in a July 26 blog post that Musk obtained his private information after Tesla devotees doxed him and published his information online. Montana voluntarily stepped away from publishing about Tesla to protect his employer from possible legal ramifications.