Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla (TSLA) gave a Donald Trump-like conference call yesterday where he refused to answer questions and insulted the analysts – even calling out “fake news” on well-documented problems with their auto-pilot system. At one point in the call, Musk ignored the professional analysts for 23 minutes to chat with a blogger who had “friendlier” questions than, for instance “How are you going to replace all the cash you are burning?” and “How many model 3s will you produce now that you’ve failed to hit goals for the 3rd consecutive quarter?“
This morning, even their biggest supporter at Morgan Stanley is bailing:
“While the consequences are unquantifiable, we believe Tesla’s CEO made a mistake in refusing to answer some of the analyst questions about the Model 3 ramp. Additionally, we found the posture out of character with the normally inviting,enlightening tone of prior conference calls over many years,” writes Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas.
To be clear. Tonight’s conference call didn’t go very well. Feedback we have received from investors during and following the call support this view. Irrespective of the Tesla CEO’s annoyance with the genre of questions he was receiving from the analyst community, we note that an important part of Tesla’s success has been its relationship with the capital markets in funding its ambitious plans. The analysts on the call represent the providers of capital that Tesla has throughout its history depended upon.
Other analysts blasted TSLA as well:
TESLA INVESTORS SAY ODD EARNINGS CALL ’SHOOK CONFIDENCE’: RBC
TESLA LIKELY TO FALL TODAY AFTER ‘TRULY BIZARRE’ CALL: JPMORGAN
TESLA REITERATED SELL AT GOLDMAN ON LIKELY MISSED TARGETS
Musk is playing a serious game with other people’s money and refusing to answer questions about what he’s doing with that money and whether or not his company…