Takeaways from Tesla's First Quarter Earnings 2018

03 May, 2018, 20:19 | Author: Chad Warren
  • Tesla says it has 'largely overcome' Model 3 bottlenecks and insists production is on track

"We're really crowded here in Fremont".

"It seems that a lot of people are speculating that the specs for the Semi truck, even, I believe, the CEO of Daimler said it breaks the laws of physics", said Russell.

Part way through the Q&A session, an analyst from Bernstein was in a back-and-forth with Deepak Ahuja, Tesla's chief financial officer, about capital expenditures. The loss is almost double that of its loss during the same period a year ago, but the company is becoming more optimistic regarding production of the Model 3.

During the first quarter of the year, Tesla burned through more than $745 million in cash, mostly due to efforts to ramp up production of the company's Model 3 sedan.

Musk's off script musings could hurt Tesla's ability to obtain cash from capital markets, Jonas told Bloomberg shortly after the call concluded. "Boring, bonehead questions are not cool".

Musk then added Tesla will keep going "until you ask questions that are not boring". Sorry. These questions are so dry.

Musk is known for his quirks, but investors appeared to be put off. Tesla shares were down almost 5% during after-hours trading, despite posting better-than-expected earnings results.

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Using this rather obscure teaser picture of the Model Y SUV, photoshop wizard Jan Piesert took the small clues we do know about the auto and weaved them into a render that shows what the Model Y could look like.

Tesla stock was little changed after the earnings announcement but fell during a conference call, when Musk began cutting analysts' questions short, costing Tesla over $2 billion in market capitalisation. The comments made during the 2018 earnings call don't really move this on.

The leaked Elon Musk email also teased a second shutdown before the end of the second quarter.

UBS analyst Colin Langan said the conference call grew contentious when Musk was asked about the cash burn rate, which at US$1.1bn in the quarter was worse than UBS expected. "We will not be starting production of Model Y next year. I actually studied physics in college". It would have been better to just design an SUV the way an SUV should be designed.

"I'm just wondering why that isn't a moat", Russel said, referring to Tesla's willingness to allow other electric vehicles to use its charging stations. Musk has also described the Model Y production process as "something different", and it's likely that the SUV's new architecture will lend itself to a more automated, efficient process with less wiring.

The Model 3 is the most important piece of Tesla's plan to become a mainstream automaker.

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