Last week was rough for Elon Musk. From a bizarre earnings call to volatile burn rates, it's never a dull moment. Where I try to give the Tesla CEO the benefit of the doubt being that he's continuously in the spotlight, I can't say I'm surprised at some of the oddities that have been happening here. Here's a refresher of everything that's happened recently.
Burning Through Cash
Tesla is losing money at a rate that puts even lottery winners to shame. One Bloomberg analysis says the company is burning through $6,500 a minute. Bloomberg also speculates the company could run out of money this year.
Many have criticized Musk for not relying on automation and being that Tesla recently doubled its workforce, it's not unreasonable to think that the level of financial angst is increasing.
Victory or defeat? Tesla's shares beat analyst predictions - with the company losing $3.35 per share instead of $3.48. Musk's response? Well, he took to Twitter.
Overall, Tesla's losses amounted to $784.6 million. The company's revenue is still at its peak, so I guess that's something worth celebrating. Kind of an odd way to respond to it, though.
Bizarre Earnings Call
What happened next was even more, well, bizarre--and definitely takes the cake. Musk might have hosted one of the strangest earnings calls in history. He repeatedly interrupted both his investors and his fellow executives. In one instance, he even cut off one question by yelling "Next!" and another by saying he wouldn't answer "boring" questions.
Musk spared no prisoners, going after the media and then, yes, Tesla's customers. He concluded that investors shouldn't buy Tesla stock if they couldn't handle volatility. On June 5th, Tesla's Annual Meeting of Stockholders will have shareholders decide if Musk should still keep his job.
That'd make for some 'insane' news (Tesla puns never get old).
$2 Billion Lawsuit
Tesla is currently being sued by Nikola Motor for $2 billion--Nikola is accusing Tesla of stealing its semi-truck designs. The story is still fresh and it and can go anywhere, but it's just another problem the company will have to handle.
Everything here might seem out of the ordinary, but it's not that unusual for Musk. Musk has a long history of failure and any one of these setbacks would be enough to discourage someone for life. Yet, his meteoric resilience has him bouncing back stronger each time. And on the bizarre, weird side? Let's just say there's an ongoing list being captured--it's really a part of Musk's brand, too. Part of the Musk allure is that quirky side. He's has never been afraid to go against the grain and defy the standard.
Whether it's vanity or ingenious, who knows and who cares. Only time will tell.
Until then, let's enjoy the ride (but hopefully it's a safe, autonomous one).