Tesla Stock Getting Hammered as NTSB Investigates, Investors Fret

Musk tells employees that cash burn rate is high.

by on May.20, 2019

Tesla's Elon Musk has ordered employees to rein in spending on virtually everything.

Just a few days after safety regulators revealed that Tesla’s Autopilot system was engaged during a fatal crash of a Model 3, Tesla’s stock has fallen 11% – including nearly 4% today – to the low $200 range.

Adding to the concerns of stock and bond investors in the California-based EV maker, CEO Elon Musk revealed the company’s first-quarter cash burn rate has put it in a precarious position.

News Now!

He told employees last Thursday he would increase cost-cutting and that $2.7 billion in capital the company recent raised would give Tesla just 10 months to break even at the rate it burned cash in the first quarter.

In early trading this morning, Tesla’s stock price fell below $200 for the first time since December 2016.

(“Hardcore” belt-tightening a must, says Tesla’s Musk. Click Here for the story.)

The NTSB is investigating a Model 3 collision involving the driver's use of Tesla's Autopilot technology.

“We believe that the NTSB report could cast doubt on TSLA’s self-driving capabilities, which have been highly touted by Mr. Musk,” Needham Analyst Rajvindra Gill wrote in a client note on Monday, reported Reuters.

The report from the National Transportation Safety Board, which conducts the investigations into Tesla’s Autopilot collisions, only made a difficult situation worse. After initially saying the company wouldn’t look to raise more capital, despite it being a good time to do so, the EV maker did just that.

The results has been a precipitous slide in Tesla’s shares by 18%. The company sold a $1.84 billion convertible bond and almost $900 million of stock on May 2 to raise fresh capital as the automaker continues to lose money.

(Click Here for more about Tesla updating software to reduce battery fire risk.)

However, buyers of new of rounds of stock offerings tend to want to see that stock rise, if nothing else in the short term to provide a little confidence. No such luck for the buyers of the stock in the most recent offer, including institutional investors and Musk, because they are now down more than $150 million.

Tesla's stock fell below $200 per share for the first time since December 2016.

Tesla’s $1.84 billion convertible bond due in 2024 was priced at 92.8 cents on the dollar, a low since it was issued earlier this month, Reuters reported. Its $977.5 million 2022 convertible bond was also at an all-time low, trading at 96.46 cents on the dollar, down from 125.68 cents in January. Its $1.8 billion junk bond was trading at a five-month low of 84.25 cents on the dollar, Reuters added.

The lack of confidence by investors is problem enough, but the NTSB’s preliminary report on the crash in Delray Beach, Florida, renewed doubts about the safety of Tesla’s driver assistance technology and the company’s ability to produce a fully self-driving automobile, which CEO Musk has been promising for some time.

(“Do you think we’re S3XY,” Musk asks as Model Y rolls out. Click Here for more.)

With Tesla’s stock down 39% year to date, 10 analysts recommend buying the shares, while another nine are neutral and 12 recommend selling, according to Refinitiv. The analysts’ median price target is $250, down from $300 a month ago, Reuters reported.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Responses to “Tesla Stock Getting Hammered as NTSB Investigates, Investors Fret”

  1. JAE says:

    So, is Tesla stock really “tanking” or is it normalizing to its “correct” value after all these years.

    • Paul A. Eisenstein says:

      Fair question. Let’s see if it stabilizes in the current range.

      Paul E.