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More To Blame Than Mary Jane As Musk Inhales Tesla's Woes

12 September, 2018, 01:28 | Author: Abraham Jackson
  • The Tesla logo is seen at the entrance to Tesla Motors' new showroom in Manhattan's Meatpacking District in New York City US

Tesla later on Friday said its accounting chief would leave after a one-month stint, the latest in a string of unusual behavior and executive departures that have stunned investors.

Shares came under renewed pressure last week amid senior personnel changes, and after CEO Elon Musk was filmed smoking marijuana during a live interview.

Shares of the company, which closed up 8.5 per cent at $285.50 on Monday after two brokerages said it could meet its production targets for the second half of the year, fell almost 2 per cent before the bell on Tuesday. A profitable quarter and massive increase in production could re-focus the Tesla narrative around the company's rapid production growth and improving financial prospects.

Shah noted that Tesla could very well out-innovate the competition, and the company may eventually become much bigger than it is today, but it would be wise to remain on the sidelines until the electric auto maker has better leadership.

In a recent note on Tuesday, Nomura Instinet analyst Romit Shah downgraded Tesla from "Buy" to "Neutral" in a note to clients titled No Longer Investable.

The note said a USA securities probe following Musk's brief flirtation with taking the electric vehicle maker private was unlikely to have an impact, although the frequent turnover of senior Tesla executives was more concerning. The waiting list for a Model 3 is more than 400,000 strong, and some people have been waiting since March 2016.

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Tesla predicted it would report a profit and be cash flow positive in both Q3 and Q4.

Shares fell about 7pc as trading opened on Friday.

Last week, Left filed a class action lawsuit that accuses Musk of securities fraud after he tweeted in August that he had "funding secured" for a plan to take Tesla private at $420 a share.

The only forecast Tesla had given previously for the third quarter was that it would produce 50,000 to 55,000 Model 3s.

The Model 3 was presented as Tesla's first mass-market vehicle, but so far, Tesla has only made premium versions of the Model 3 with long-range batteries. Needham analyst Rajvindra Gill struck a extra cautious tone on Tesla, highlighting longer-time interval hurdles for the firm. He said in the email that Tesla will build and deliver over double the amount of cars it did in the second quarter, when it built 53,339 and delivered 40,740.

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