Musk comes out swinging at Tesla shareholder meeting

Equities 3 minutes to read

Michael McKenna

Head of Editorial Content, Saxo Bank

Summary:  Tesla CEO Elon Musk took an ultra-bullish stance at yesterday's 2019 shareholder meeting, but remained vague on several key questions.


Tesla shares have rebounded solidly after hitting a three-year low of $176.99 on June 3, with yesterday’s session closing at $217.10/share into the company’s 2019 shareholders meeting.

The meeting was expected to be a forum for CEO Elon Musk to address the challenges that saw Tesla post a $732 million Q1 loss while its stock declined from a December 2018 peak north of $370 to under $200 in May despite a V-shaped rally in US equities as a whole.

In a sense it was. In another sense, however, it returned focus to CEO Elon Musk’s voluble personality and the potential for gaps between the company’s claims and reality.

For Tesla bulls, the meeting was celebratory. Musk came out swinging and left to a standing ovation. The Tesla CEO hit back at analyst claims that demand could prove an issue for Tesla, stating that there is “not a demand problem”, and adding that “sales have far exceeded production, and production has been pretty good.”

Musk also told his audience that the company continues to find new customers, stating that 90% of incoming orders are from buyers without a reservation for the Model 3.

“We have a decent shot at a record quarter on every level […] if not, it’s going to be very close,” said Musk in a leaked internal email.

Beyond the realm of pretty goods and decent shots, however, Musk was more evasive. Although the Tesla CEO was keen to discuss full automation, including a proposed “summon” feature that would see Tesla cars drive themselves from parking spots to their waiting owners, he was careful not to mention concrete timelines.

Musk was similarly vague on the question of profitability, stating that “profitability is always challenging when you're a fast-growing company”.

The question for Tesla is how mush further the company can go on enthusiasm alone. While Musk was keen to talk up the forthcoming Tesla pickup truck, calling it a “cyberpunk” production that will outperform a stock Porsche 911 while maintaining the ability to “haul a horse”, there were no reveals, and his presentation ended on an equivocal note with Musk stating that “we’re trying to create something new and it’s […] very hard. This is a very hard thing.”

Musk was also imprecise regarding Tesla’s recent acquisition of Maxwell technologies, claiming that the battery firm possesses some key technologies that will make it cheaper and easier to scale up production of lithium-ion batteries, but leaving the details for a “battery and powertrain” event in Q3.

Yesterday’s shareholder meeting came on the back of some positive headlines after Roth Capital partners upgraded TSLA from Neutral to Buy on Monday while Bair analyst Ben Kallo reiterated a Buy rating and a price target of $340, near TSLA’s all-time high.

Today’s session looks set to be an interesting one as markets take stock of the shareholder meeting’s releases against a backdrop of improving sentiment. From a technical perspective, however, the recent rally has brought Tesla shares back to an area of local resistance. According to Blue Line Futures’ Bill Baruch, much of Tuesday’s gain was due to short covering ahead of the investor meeting.

“I’m looking at $250 area, $245 as being an area to look to sell this,” Baruch told CNBC Tuesday.

TSLA (daily, source: Saxo Bank)

Disclaimer

The Saxo Bank Group entities each provide execution-only service and access to Analysis permitting a person to view and/or use content available on or via the website. This content is not intended to and does not change or expand on the execution-only service. Such access and use are at all times subject to (i) The Terms of Use; (ii) Full Disclaimer; (iii) The Risk Warning; (iv) the Rules of Engagement and (v) Notices applying to Saxo News & Research and/or its content in addition (where relevant) to the terms governing the use of hyperlinks on the website of a member of the Saxo Bank Group by which access to Saxo News & Research is gained. Such content is therefore provided as no more than information. In particular no advice is intended to be provided or to be relied on as provided nor endorsed by any Saxo Bank Group entity; nor is it to be construed as solicitation or an incentive provided to subscribe for or sell or purchase any financial instrument. All trading or investments you make must be pursuant to your own unprompted and informed self-directed decision. As such no Saxo Bank Group entity will have or be liable for any losses that you may sustain as a result of any investment decision made in reliance on information which is available on Saxo News & Research or as a result of the use of the Saxo News & Research. Orders given and trades effected are deemed intended to be given or effected for the account of the customer with the Saxo Bank Group entity operating in the jurisdiction in which the customer resides and/or with whom the customer opened and maintains his/her trading account. Saxo News & Research does not contain (and should not be construed as containing) financial, investment, tax or trading advice or advice of any sort offered, recommended or endorsed by Saxo Bank Group and should not be construed as a record of our trading prices, or as an offer, incentive or solicitation for the subscription, sale or purchase in any financial instrument. To the extent that any content is construed as investment research, you must note and accept that the content was not intended to and has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such, would be considered as a marketing communication under relevant laws.

Please read our disclaimers:
- Notification on Non-Independent Investment Research (https://www.home.saxo/legal/niird/notification)
- Full disclaimer (https://www.home.saxo/en-gb/legal/disclaimer/saxo-disclaimer)

Saxo Markets
40 Bank Street, 26th floor
E14 5DA
London
United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Trade Responsibly
All trading carries risk. To help you understand the risks involved we have put together a series of Key Information Documents (KIDs) highlighting the risks and rewards related to each product. Read more
Additional Key Information Documents are available in our trading platform.

Saxo Markets is a registered Trading Name of Saxo Capital Markets Ltd (‘SCML’). SCML is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Firm Reference Number 551422. Registered address: 26th Floor, 40 Bank Street, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DA. Company number 7413871.

This website, including the information and materials contained in it, are not directed at, or intended for distribution to or use by, any person or entity who is a citizen or resident of or located in the United States, Belgium or any other jurisdiction where such distribution, publication, availability or use would be contrary to applicable law or regulation.

It is important that you understand that with investments, your capital is at risk. Past performance is not a guide to future performance. It is your responsibility to ensure that you make an informed decision about whether or not to invest with us. If you are still unsure if investing is right for you, please seek independent advice. Saxo Markets assumes no liability for any loss sustained from trading in accordance with a recommendation.

Apple, iPad and iPhone are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Android is a trademark of Google Inc.