Hedge fund manager on Tesla solar push: 'If you believe this, I have a bridge to sell you'

Tesla’s future might be as much about solar power as it is about their famed electric car, so says company CEO Elon Musk. Critics, however, don’t think it is enough to save a company that is no stranger to drawing flack.

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Speaking during a Friday call to discuss third-quarter earnings, Musk was positive about the direction of the company after reporting revenue of $6.3 billion in the third quarter. This number was boosted by free cash flow of $371 million. Of the third-quarter revenue, $5.3 billion is from Tesla’s famed automobile component. The remainder comes from solar panels, energy storage and other components.

That’s could be an area for growth for Tesla. On Friday, Musk said solar power and energy storage is an area where Tesla will expand and “could be bigger, but it will certainly be of a similar magnitude” as to the revenue seen on the automotive side.

FILE - In this March 14, 2019 file photo, Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks before unveiling the Model Y at the company's design studio in Hawthorne, Calif. Musk says he’s deleted his Twitter account 10 months after a tweet landed him in trouble with U.S. r

Gabe Hoffman, a hedge fund manager and founder of Accipiter Capital Management, has been critical of Tesla in the past. He doesn’t see the company’s foray into solar energy and storage as being a game-changer for Tesla.

“If you believe this, I have a bridge to sell you,” Hoffman told FOX Business. “Consider [that] the solar panel Musk unveiled to sell the [Solar City] merger in 2016 didn’t work and he lied to everyone, and he has lied to investors and the state of New York every step on the way with the solar business.”

In the third quarter, Tesla reported that it “also launched a commercial solar configurator for small and medium enterprises, with standardized and transparent pricing. Solar deployments have started to grow sequentially once again. In [third quarter], we deployed 43 [megawatts] of solar, 48% more than in the prior quarter.”

In the past, Hoffman has voiced concern over the electric car produced by Tesla and what he terms as its “substantial quality issues.”

Today’s news does not augment his belief that the company has major flaws.

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“Not in the slightest,” Hoffman said.