Elon Musk pledged to “burn” investors shorting Tesla Inc. and criticized analysts and even himself after exchanges during the electric-car maker’s earnings call sent shares tumbling.
Musk tweeted that analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. and RBC Capital Markets were representing “a short seller thesis, not investors” when posing questions that Musk cut off during the Wednesday call. The CEO reiterated that an inquiry about capital expenditures by Bernstein’s Toni Sacconaghi was “boneheaded” and said RBC’s Joseph Spak posed an “absurd” query about Model 3 reservations.
“Oh and uh short burn of the century comin soon. Flamethrowers should arrive just in time,” the CEO wrote Friday. That’s an apparent reference to devices Musk sold earlier this year to raise money for his tunnel-digging company Boring Co.
Tesla shares fell as much as 1.2 percent in early trading but recovered within an hour, a day after Musk’s behavior on the company’s earnings call sent the stock down by the most in more than a month.
After receiving a suggestion on Twitter that blocking analysts who are going to be negative would solve his problem, Musk wrote back: “True. And once they were on the call, I should have answered their questions live. It was foolish of me to ignore them.”
Musk, 46, rejected Sacconaghi and Spak’s questions during the Wednesday call to discuss another quarter in which Tesla burned more than $1 billion in cash. The CEO said questions he was getting were “so dry” and told the conference-call operator to pivot instead to inquiries from a YouTube channel owner who said he was representing retail investors.
Bernstein’s Sacconaghi and RBC’s Spak both rate Tesla shares the equivalent of hold.