Well, I guess you can hardly blame Elon Musk for being sick and tired of answering questions about Tesla.
After all, the past couple of months haven't been what one might call a "smooth ride" for the company, beset as it was by questions about the safety of Autopilot, a Moody's downgrade, solvency concerns and all manner of other "annoyances" that eventually prompted our own real-life Tony Stark to make a joke about the company going bankrupt on Twitter following one of the worst months for shares in history:
It wouldn't be a stretch to say that the bad news came pretty much non-stop during Q1, leading directly to all kinds of trepidation going into earnings. Miraculously, the numbers weren't as bad as feared, but the company did manage to set another $1 billion on fire.
The Q1 adjusted loss per share was "just" $3.35, versus consensus loss/share of $3.41 and the top line was a beat as well, as revenue came in at $3.41 billion against estimates of $3.32 billion. Notably, the company says it expects to hit full GAAP profitability in Q3 and Q4.
Analysts were lukewarm on this. Morgan's Adam Jonas called Tesla's admission that forecasting Model 3 production is difficult "wise". Jonas also said there was "little in the release that changes the market’s view that TSLA needs external capital" before suggesting that while Tesla probably doesn't represent a particularly "attractive investment on a risk-adjusted basis at $300", there's "rather limited downside".
Yes, "rather limited downside" - unless of course Elon does something crazy like lose his shit on the call, which, as it turns out, he did.
Specifically, Musk became upset when folks started quizzing him on things like capital expenditures. Asked for details on the company's financials, Stark simply cut the analysts off, calling their queries "dry", before literally accusing them of "killing" him with their "boring" questions. He also called them "not cool".
He then proceeded to take calls from Youtube.
As far as the stock is concerned, he slapped his own qualified sell rating on the shares, advising anyone who is "concerned about volatility" to "not buy our stock."
Oh, and he made it clear that he is not at all interested in giving updates to day traders who he flat out implored to "please sell our stock", something they ultimately did, sending the shares sharply lower after hours:
This was obviously not a great PR move and I guess the question now is whether the market will be willing to forgive this latest example of eccentricity on parade or whether this will only serve to raise further questions about the company.
Maybe Elon should have had Wilbur Ross call in and toss out some softballs about moon gas stations and mars.
Oh well, maybe next quarter.
As far as I know, there was no mention of the "immortal robot dictator."