By CCN: CNBC must really be hurting for content, or its owners must be long on Tesla stock. That’s the only explanation for Keris Lahiff’s sensationalist headlinetrumpeting, “Tesla rallied 90% the last time it suffered a pullback of this size.”
“…history suggests this might lead to a massive short-term rally. The stock roared 90% higher in the two months to April 2016 following a 50% sell-off in the previous 18 months.”
It appears that this is as far as Lahiff’s editors were willing to go because several analysts interviewed in the article are hip to the truth: This time it’s different.
The reason it’s different is that Tesla stock is in a much more precarious position. Even as Elon Musk keeps pulling rabbits out his hat to distract investors, it’s no mask for the company’s increasingly dire cash flow situation.
From September 2018. This risk-reward setup wasn't and still isn't good for $TSLA $TSLAQ. Doesn't fit our investment strategy for clients. ‘I wouldn’t touch this thing with a 10-foot pole,’ money manager says of Tesla shares https://t.co/LisS5OelnY
— Mark Tepper (@MarkTepperSWP) February 14, 2019
Yet Mark Tepper, president of Strategic Wealth Partners, points out that the core narrative regarding Tesla and Elon Musk has fundamentally changed:
“There’s no positive catalyst in sight. The problem with Tesla stock is that the narrative has changed, so this thing climbed up to $380 a share on hope that [CEO Elon Musk] would change the world. At that time, the narrative was innovation. Now the narrative is survival.”
Elon Musk is not going to change the world, not when his cars spontaneously combust, his autopilot technology slams people into fatal accidents, and his company’s customer service is so bad that a Chinese firm complains about it in Times Square.
Elon Musk had to raise additional capital to keep Tesla stock afloat, yet the billionaire CEO himself only ponied up $25 million after being paid more than $2 billion in compensation over the past year. That was not a vote of confidence in Tesla.
The capital raise was necessary as Tesla burned through over $7 billion in cash in the past four years.
While anything is possible when it comes to the crazy world of Elon Musk and Tesla stock, the technical damage done to TSLA is likely insurmountable barring some shocking positive development.
For all this talk of Tesla producing a mass-market Model 3 available at a $35,000 price point, it hasn’t happened and will not happen because the economics won’t permit it. Elon Musk even moaned about it in last October’s conference call:
“If we can produce the $35,000 car today, we would do it. We need more work, there is more work to do before we can make $35,000 car, and have it be positive gross margin.”
Elon Musk unable to deliver on a promise? I’m shocked! Next, you’ll be telling me that there’s gambling going on in this casino.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to, CCN.