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Tesla Stock Plunged After Elon Musk’s ‘Bizarre’ Conference Call

A recent Bloomberg article describes Elon Musk’s “bizarre” conference call on Wednesday — and its aftermath on Wall Street.
Elon Musk told investors not to buy Tesla Inc. shares if they can’t stomach volatility. They got the message. The comments — part of a bizarre, heated conference call after the close Wednesday — sent the electric-car maker’s stock plunging. Tesla fell as much as 8.6 percent Thursday after the chief executive officer rejected analysts’ questions on another quarter in which the company burned more than $1 billion in cash.
Investors had shorted a total of more than 40 million shares by Thursday — the most ever in Tesla history — and despite a rise in Tesla’s stock price on Friday, they shorted 500,000 more shares.

Wired argues that Musk “clearly is avoiding some hard questions about Tesla’s financial viability. But it’s equally true that the call exposed how limited Wall Street can be about visions for the future and what it takes to create new templates for doing old things.” This clash was highlighted by Musk’s response to “sober questions by respected Wall Street analysts” like Toni Sacconaghi.
Musk brushed him off, sniping that “bonehead, boring questions are not cool.” To add insult to that injury, Musk then fielded questions from a YouTube user, who proceeded to dominate a call normally open only to significant Wall Street analysts. That did not sit well with the Street, and Sacconaghi lambasted Musk the next day on CNBC with the rather clever jab, “This is a financial analyst call, this is not a TED talk.”
Friday, Musk returned fire, with tweets asserting that the question was boneheaded because the analyst already knew the answer and was asking purely to advocate a negative thesis about the company.
But Barron’s replayed the conference call, and argued that Musk was mistaken, reporting that “the analyst wanted to know about capital requirements, not expenditures.”


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