• 28 May 2014 at 1:56 PM

A Credit Rating You Can Believe In

Even the most incompetent (or, if you prefer, corrupt) organizations occasionally get something right, especially when they are not being paid to get it wrong in a client’s favor. This seems to be one of those occasions, meaning that Elon Musk may not need to hit up his rich friends for the $200K a month he needs to survive (and fly), but he might have to pay a little more to get it from the capital markets.

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services labeled Tesla Motors Inc. a “vulnerable” investment, giving it a noninvestment-grade corporate debt rating of B-.

The rating, four levels below investment grade, is unsolicited because Palo Alto, Calif.-based Tesla doesn’t have a rating agreement with the S&P to rate its debt, but S&P said there was sufficient investor interest to go forward with the rating….

The ratings firm estimates that Tesla will burn cash in 2014 and 2015 as large capital expenses connected to building a giant battery factory, Supercharger stations, showrooms and service facilities as well as developing the Model X SUV and another smaller car will use more cash than it will generate through selling new vehicles, said Nishit Madlani, a credit analyst with S&P.

S&P Rates Tesla Debt as ‘Junk’ [WSJ]

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