Elon Musk goofed, but the Tesla CEO is unlikely to change

Elon Musk goofed, but the Tesla CEO is unlikely to change

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has defended his interruption of two analysts during the company's Q1 conference call earlier this week.

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. After fielding more than a dozen questions from Russell, Musk ended the conversation by thanking him. The questions that Musk ignored were from Sanford Bernstein's Toni Sacconaghiand RBC's Joseph Spak, who both have "hold" ratings on the Telsa stock - which implies that they are both taking a long position. He decided instead to take questions from a Tesla investor and Musk acolyte.

His actions had immediate consequences.

He's correct to call the analysts "sell-side", meaning they come from brokerage firms, which earn fees when clients trade stocks.

"We have no interest in satisfying the desires of day traders", Musk said Wednesday. But following Musk's comments to his 21.6 million followers on Twitter, the shares have started to recover: up about 1.3 percent in Friday morning trading.

Musk also complained about how much media attention a few fatal accidents involving autonomous features on Tesla's cars are getting.

As for whether this is the last of Musk's unusual behavior, that seems unlikely.

Tesla's stock price dropped to $283 on Thursday, down from a record of $389 reached in September. Musk was criticized for cutting off two analysts that asked about the electric vehicle and solar panel company's cash needs and orders for its Model-3. The CEO wrote that Bernstein's comment about capital commitments was "boneheaded" since it had "already been answered in the headline of the Q1 newsletter he received beforehand, along with details in the body of the letter".

Levy added that although Tesla management should be "more disciplined publicly", the key to the stock is whether Tesla can ramp up production of the Model 3, its mass-market electric auto.

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