Tesla stock price has been in free fall since Wednesday when CEO Elon Musk dissed analysts and reporters during a bizarre conference call to discuss his company’s first-quarter earnings.
As of early Thursday afternoon (May 3), TSLA has plunged more than 6 percent on heavy trading volume, suggesting a mass sell-off. As of this writing, Tesla stock was trading at $281.73 a share, down 6.49 percent, on volume of 13.4 million shares. Average daily trading volume is 7.5 million.
Tesla posted a first-quarter loss of $780 million on revenue of $3.3 billion, which was slightly better than Wall Street expectations. But his impatience with analysts during the post-earnings conference call raised eyebrows.
Musk: These Boring Questions Are Killing Me
Sanford Bernstein’s Toni Sacconaghi asked, “So where specifically will you be in terms of capital requirements?”
Musk replied, as reported by CNBC, “Boring, bonehead questions are not cool. Next.”
RBC’s Joseph Spak then asked, “The first question is related to the Model 3 reservations, and I was just wondering if you gave us a gauge as maybe some of the impact that the news has had. Like, of the reservations that actually opened and made available to configure, can you let us know what percentage have actually taken the step to configure?”
Musk responded, “We’re going to go to YouTube. Sorry. These questions are so dry. They’re killing me.”
At one point, an impatient Musk said he couldn’t care less about making sure that day traders profit from Tesla’s stock and urged them to sell TSLA.
“We have no interest in satisfying the desires of day traders,” Musk quipped. “I couldn’t care less. Please sell our stock and don’t buy it.”
Elon Musk: ‘Do Not Buy’
Basically, Musk said that if investors only care about turning a quick profit and don’t truly believe in Tesla cars, they can take a flying leap for all he cares.
“If people are concerned about volatility, they should definitely not buy our stock. I’m not here to convince you to buy our stock. Do not buy it if volatility is scary. There you go.”
Naturally, Wall Street was abuzz after the call, where they complained that Musk was erratic and impatient. But former hedge fund manager and CNBC host Jim Cramer said that was the “best” earnings call he had heard in a long time.
“This was the best call I’ve heard in a long time,” Cramer said on Squawk on the Street. (see video).”If I were Elon Musk, I would have done the exact same thing. They’re all tired and boring, asking tough questions, and what he did do was the internal thinking of a lot of CEOs.”
One Trader Says To Keep Shorting Tesla Stock
Meanwhile, traders are already reacting a little vindictively to Musk’s dismissive conference call. David Kudla, the CEO and chief investment strategist of Mainstay Capital Management, said he’s going to keep shorting TSLA stock.
“I have made a profit shorting Tesla stock several times over the past year — and am once again short the stock,” Kudla wrote May 3 at MarketWatch. “I think Elon Musk is brilliant and a visionary. But I see several problems.”
“One problem is Elon Musk’s arrogance and dismissive attitude, as evidenced by the conference call with analysts following Tesla’s first quarter-earnings announcement.”
Kudla then discussed Tesla’s ongoing production issues and failure to operate in the black.
“With its internal problems and its cash-burn rate, the worst-case scenario is that Tesla ends up bankrupt,” Kudla wrote.