Tesla's Entry-level Model Y SUV Production To Begin In 2020

Elon Musk has had to contend with production problems with the Model 3 car

When RBC Capital Markets analyst Joseph Spak asked Musk about Model 3 reservations, the Tesla CEO responded, "These questions are so dry". Well, to be fair, Musk didn't so much as refuse to answer the question as he mocked the analyst for broaching it in the first place.

In a series of tweets on Friday, he claimed the two analysts he cut off "were trying to justify their Tesla short thesis". One of the inquiries, asked by an analyst from Bernstein, was described by Musk as a "boneheaded, boring" question.

"The 2 questioners I ignored on the Q1 call are sell-side analysts who represent a short seller thesis, not investors", he said on Twitter, before going on to address his reasons for ignoring each.

Tesla posted a net loss of $710 million on $3.41 billion in revenue for the January-March quarter.

A look at the three Americans detained in North Korea
President Trump and North Korea's Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un are expected to disuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Trump, speaking to reporters outside the White House, suggested activity was under way involving the captives.

The spat comes at a crunch time for Tesla when it is struggling to ramp up production of its Model 3 sedan, on which its profitability depends.

"I would say it's probably closer to 24 months from now...2020 is a more likely prospect", he said. During the call, Musk shot down a question from Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. analyst Antonio Sacconaghi about capital investment requirements.

It's tough to blame him for that, but his performance during the call reportedly spooked investors, and led directly to a significant plunge in the value of Tesla stock that in turn reduced Musk's own personal fortune by some $300 million.

Tesla's stock recovered a little on Friday, up 2.4 per cent at $291 in early afternoon trade.

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Short-sellers look for profit by selling borrowed shares with the hope of purchasing them back later at a smaller price.

Sacconaghi has a US$265 price target on the stock, while Spak sees the shares falling to US$280.

Tesla began the quarter with $3.96 billion in cash and equivalents, but that fell to $3.22 billion by quarter's end.

CNBC also reports that Musk chose to take several questions from a 25-year-old retail investor and owner of a YouTube channel, Galileo Russell, which is unusual because questions on earnings calls are traditionally reserved for analysts, professional investors, and sometimes media.

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Sacconaghi wrote in a note on Thursday that "we do worry that such theatrics will unnecessarily undermine investor confidence in Tesla's outlook".

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