Elon Musk cuts off analysts as Tesla posts record $710m loss

Investors left frustrated as billionaire dismisses queries about company’s finances

Elon Musk
Musk snubbed analysts who asked ‘boring’ questions 
(Image credit: 2015 Getty Images)

Tesla investors have criticised company chief Elon Musk after he cut off “boring” questions from analysts during a conference call yesterday.

The South African-born billionaire has had an “usually chummy” relationship with analysts until now, says Bloomberg, but turned hostile when queried about the electric car firm’s financial situation. Hours earlier Tesla had posted a record loss of $710m (£522m) for the first quarter of 2018, The Guardian reports.

Asked by RBC Capital Markets analyst Joe Spark about how many Model 3 pre-order customers had began finalising their purchase, Musk replied: “Sorry. These questions are so dry. They’re killing me.”

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He then took questions from Tesla enthusiast Gali Russell, who runs a YouTube channel called HyperChange that is dedicated to electric cars and consumer tech.

Musk’s behaviour was condemned by some “frustrated” investors and analysts, who are “seeking clarity” on the company’s “high cash-burn rate” and the missed manufacturing deadlines for the Model 3, says CNBC.

Analyst Rebecca Lindland, from vehicle valuation firm Kelley Blue Book, told the news site that the tech tycoon needs to “grow up” and “get on track”.

“You have to take analyst questions, adult analyst questions, not fanboys, not retail analysts”, she said.

Shares in the electric car company fell by 5% following the conference call, resulting in a loss of $2bn (£1.5bn) in market capitalisation.

Musk insists that Tesla will turn a profit in the second half of this year, and says the company is on course to reach its manufacturing target of 5,000 Model 3s a week by the end of June.

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