Tesla shares fall despite better-than-expected earnings loss

Musk defends cutting off 'short seller thesis' analysts

Elon Musk goofed, but the Tesla CEO is unlikely to change

Explaining his decision in a string of tweets - which Mr Musk prefaced with a warning to "ignore unless you're interested in a tedious discussion about Tesla stock" - he said that the company was the most shorted stock on the market.

"You need to have full autonomy, level 4 or 5, whatever you want to call it and, obviously, a lot of cars on the road, and then build the software infrastructure behind that to enable shared autonomy", Musk said.

During Wednesday's call, Spak asked about customer reservations for the Model 3 sedan, while Sacconaghi wanted to know about Tesla's capital requirements.

One tweeter pushed back on the Model 3 position and requested indications for sustainable demand. After fielding more than a dozen questions from Russell, Musk ended the conversation by thanking him.

Things went downhill from there.

Just after the electric vehicle and solar panel company announced a record first-quarter loss, the Tesla CEO cut off two analysts who sought some basic answers: details about the company's cash needs and orders for its all-important Model 3 mass-market electric auto. Musk, though, had had enough.

Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk defended the snub of two Wall Street analysts on a conference call, proclaiming in a tweet on Friday that they "were trying to justify their Tesla short thesis".

"The reason the Bernstein question about CapEx was boneheaded was that it had already been answered in the headline of the Q1 newsletter he received beforehand", Musk pointed out, "along with details in the body of the letter".

"We're going to YouTube", the CEO said, turning to questions from users of the video sharing site.

Musk promised restructuring, more Model 3 output and capital spending cuts to ease cash strain. "Tesla has roughly half a million reservations, despite no advertising & no cars in showrooms. Even after reaching 5k/week production, it would take 2 years just to satisfy existing demand even if new sales dropped to 0", he said. And Musk accurately noted that Tesla is a favorite of short sellers, who bet against stocks.

Yet the Tesla CEO also mounted a defense of the call that may raise even more questions about his handling of the situation, which continues to overshadow the company's actual results. "Responding to a suggestion that the analysts - whose questions he had earlier described as "neither valid nor pertinent" - should have been filtered out before they even got a chance to ask a question, he agreed". "They're killing me", Musk said as he dismissed an RBC Capital Markets analyst in favour of a blogger who served up queries more to his liking.

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