Tesla CEO Elon Musk has made a lot of promises. With the first quarter ending and an earnings report now due, this is when the rubber meets the road. Can Musk deliver on the plans he’s sold his faithful shareholders? Or will the report simply detail his failure to get the job done? Dana Hull reports at Bloomberg:
Tesla’s Fremont, California, delivery hub was packed with people Saturday evening as the last hours of the quarter drew to a close. Red couches and tall white tables were set up outside, a DJ played music and a truck selling Vietnamese food was on hand. Behind the scenes, a company that’s struggled to figure out how to mass manufacture cars had implored workers to get production on track and disprove their doubters.
But the skeptics are getting louder after the last few days. The electric-car maker led by Elon Musk has come under regulatory scrutiny for the second crash this year involving Tesla’s driver-assistance system Autopilot, the latest of which resulted in a fatality. Moody’s Investors Service last week downgraded the company’s credit rating further into junk, saying production problems and mounting obligations could necessitate a more than $2 billion capital raise soon to avoid running out of cash. Tesla shares plunged as much as 5.7 percent in early trading Monday.
“It’s about the magnitude of the miss,” Philippe Houchois, a Jefferies Group LLC who rates the shares a hold, wrote in a report to clients Monday. Tesla probably fell short of a company-supplied consensus estimate of 10,000 Model 3 deliveries in the first quarter and may have trailed its target to end March making the sedan at 2,500-unit weekly rate, he said.
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Jeremy Jones, CFA
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