Tesla shares jump after cash burn worries abate, Musk apologizes to Street

02 August, 2018, 18:23 | Author: Dave Hampton
  • Tesla Model 3 configurator

Tesla Inc burned through $US739.5 million ($A999 million) in cash in the second quarter, paving the way for the company to record a $US717.5 million net loss as it continues to crank out electric cars.

Another landmark fact is that Tesla has finally started making money with the Model 3, by selling pricier Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive versions of the vehicle; it is priced at a starting of Dollars 64,000. Musk and CFO Deepak Ahuja admitted that even production of the auto was plagued with problems; Tesla launched a new production line in a massive tent, shuffled its worker base, and worked round the clock to hit the 5,000-Model 3s-a-week target.

Shares of the company rose 10 percent to $331 before the bell.

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Mr Musk also apologised for being rude to two analysts on last quarter's results conference call. Analysts have questioned whether the 5,000 rate would be sustainable. In a series of Twitter updates on Wednesday, Elon Musk announced that some classic Atari games would be coming as Easter Eggs in Tesla's Software V9.0 release, which is expected to be rolled out in September of this year and accessible to Model S, Model X, and Model 3 vehicles.

Tesla delivered its 200,000th electric auto - including its more expensive Model S and X vehicles - in July, a threshold which means a $7,500 federal subsidy will remain in place to the end of the year.

Tesla spent millions as it reached a goal of producing 5000 Model 3 sedans per week by the end of June. But Musk said numerous trade-ins it received were mass-market vehicles, including the Toyota Prius and Honda Accords and Civics.

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The shares surged as much as 9.2 per cent as of 6:25 am NY time Thursday, before the start of regular trading. That angered some deposit-holders, and analysts questioned whether more would drop out because of delays making the cheaper $35,000 version.

Tesla plans to pay off its upcoming debt - some $1.8 billion comes due before November 2019 - through internally generated cash flow, Musk said. In his crosshairs is hedge fund manager David Einhorn, who said his wrong bet that Tesla stock would fall was a big reason for his fund's poor performance in the second quarter. Tesla projected total 2018 capital spending at just below $2.5 billion.

Tesla has begun to lay off 9 percent of its workforce as it tightens spending.

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