Tesla logs a $700 million paper profit for short-sellers

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Amidst the firestorm of criticism from various media outlets followed by a steep dive of Tesla stock (NASDAQ:TSLA), Elon Musk has gone on Twitter to explain what exactly happened during the recently-held and now-controversial Q1 2018 earnings call.

"I would say it's probably closer to 24 months from now...2020 is a more likely prospect", he said.

Responding to a question about capital requirements on Sanford Bernstein's Toni Sacconaghi while on a conference call this Wednesday, Musk had stated, "Boring, bonehead questions are not cool, Next?" Sorry. These questions are so dry.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said during the company's first quarter earnings call that it is looking to launch its own autonomous ride-sharing network soon but did not go into specifics on when it will start.

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"I think, generally speaking, when CEOs are evasive around number questions, that is worrisome... when financial questions are asked, they should be addressed", he added.

"With over $11 billion of total short interest in Tesla, many traders are either at or close to their risk limits and will not be able to increase their positions substantially".

Predictably, Musk's outright dismissal of the above questions didn't exactly inspire faith among investors. The investors and analysts claimed, pointing fingers at Musk, that the loss reduced their faith in Musk's competency as the CEO of the company.

Tesla's key metric is hitting 5,00 per week and that their target for Model 3 production may not happen until late July.

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Musk's failure to answer questions from the analysts about Tesla's finances caused the stock to go down by 5.6 percent on Thursday.

Jefferies analyst Philippe Houchois said the underlying business fundamentals were more important in any capital raise, although "management credibility" was also a factor.

Short-sellers look for profit by selling borrowed shares with the hope of purchasing them back later at a smaller price.

As for whether this is the last of Musk's unusual behavior, that seems unlikely. On the call, he devoted 23 minutes to 25-year-old Tesla investor, Galileo Russell, who runs HyperChange TV.

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In a freakish conference call, the iconoclastic CEO described concerns about Tesla's capital requirements as "boring" after the company, which also makes solar technology, reported a record loss of $709.6 million, or $4.19 each share, in the first quarter ended March 31.

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