Musk calls Wall Street snub ‘foolish’ but defends his behaviour

NEW YORK: Tesla Inc Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk acknowledged on Friday that it was “foolish” of him to snub analysts on a conference call earlier in the week, but further needled Wall Street with a series of accusatory tweets. In a post-earnings call on Wednesday, Musk refused to answer questions from analysts on the electric vehicle maker’s capital requirements, saying “boring, bonehead questions are not cool,” before turning questions over to a little known investor who runs HyperChange, a YouTube investment channel. The outspoken performance shocked many analysts, sparked a fall in Tesla’s share price and led some to question whether Musk’s behaviour could risk the company’s ability to raise capital.

In early-morning tweets on Friday, Musk said the two analysts he cut off — RBC Capital Markets’ Joseph Spak and Bernstein’s Toni Sacconaghi — “were trying to justify their Tesla short thesis.” ‘Shorting’ means they were betting the stock would fall, but the two have ‘hold’ or ‘neutral’ ratings on the stock, according to data. “I should have answered their questions live. It was foolish of me to ignore them,” Musk tweeted. The spat comes at a crunch time for Tesla, when it is struggling to ramp up production of its Model 3 sedan, on which its profitability depends. It is trying to build 5,000 of the vehicles per week by the end of June and overcome manufacturing hurdles that have delayed its rollout. — Reuters