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Musk defends cutting off 'short seller thesis' analysts

05 May 2018

Musk dove further into the discussion by explaining that the reason he opted to dismiss the questions was because the callers were "sell-side analysts who represent short seller thesis, not investors".

"While the consequences are unquantifiable, we believe Tesla's CEO made a mistake in refusing to answer some of the analyst questions about the Model 3 ramp", Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas wrote in a note on Thursday. "And once they were on the call, I should have answered their questions live".

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He gave the remaining portion of the earnings call to Tesla investor Galileo Russel, host of the "HyperChange TV" YouTube channel "We're gonna go to YouTube". On Friday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk told his fans that two questioners were analysts simply attempting to justify their short bets against TSLA stock. Brokerage firms fear that those negative ratings will anger companies and cost their clients special access to executives. "They're killing me", he said on the call. "Do not buy it if volatility is scary".

That task may be complicated by the past few days.

"This is a financial analyst call, this is not a TED talk", the analyst said, adding that Musk's behavior was concerning because it shows he's not interested in the financial side of his "visionary" projects.

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In response to RBC's "absurd" question regarding the percentage of Model 3 reservations that Tesla had started to configure, Musk said that Tesla has roughly a half a million reservations, despite no advertising and no cars in showrooms. While Musk acknowledged he erred by ignoring questions, he also reinforced his criticism of the analysts. "Boring, bonehead questions are not cool". For another query, concerning demand for the Model 3, he points to the more than 400,000 vehicle reservations still waiting to be filled.

"Oh and uh short burn of the century coming soon", he tweeted, a prediction that the stock will rip higher.

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Musk defends cutting off 'short seller thesis' analysts