Tesla analysts are accustomed to CEO Elon Musk’s bravado and occasional fits of entrepreneurial defiance. But even they were taken aback by the tone of Musk’s commentary during yesterday’s Q1 2018 earnings call.
- “Boring, bonehead questions are not cool,” he snapped at one analyst, who inquired about capital expenditures. “Next?”
- Later, when an analyst asked about whether customers with Model 3 reservations were configuring their cars after reaching the front of the queue, Musk expressed exasperation. “These questions are so dry. They’re killing me.”
- In case his frustration with Wall Street was not already evident, Musk then invited YouTube host and Tesla enthusiast Gali Russell to take the floor with crowdsourced questions on behalf of retail investors. To Russell, Musk was somewhat more polite, but no less dismissive. Should Tesla use its supercharger network as a strategic moat? Russell asked. “I think moats are lame,” Musk replied. “They’re like nice in a sort of quaint, vestigial way. But if your only defense against invading armies is a moat, you will not last long.”
In after-hours trading, as the call unfolded, Tesla stock dropped more than 5% in just 20 minutes, landing at around $284.