Tesla shares sink as Elon Musk cuts off analysts on call

Tesla’s stock sank on Thursday a day after CEO Elon Musk cut off two Wall Street analysts on the company’s earnings call, dismissing their questions as “dry.”

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Musk abruptly ended a line of questioning Wednesday after the analysts asked about the impact of the electric-car maker’s reduced spending plans and the percentage of Model 3 reservation holders who have configured a vehicle.

“Boring, bonehead questions are not cool,” Musk said.

In response to a question regarding Model 3 orders, Musk directed the moderator to open up the call to a YouTube user who was invited by Musk to ask crowdsourced questions from retail investors.

“We’re going to go to YouTube; sorry,” he said. “These questions are so dry. They’re killing me.”

Musk took additional questions from analysts before the call ended, but the tense exchange may have rattled some investors.

After hovering near breakeven at the start of the call, Tesla shares sank in after-hours trading Wednesday. The stock dropped on Thursday, falling 5.6%.

Also on the call, Musk announced that Tesla will undergo a corporate restructuring by the end of May. The Palo Alto, California-based company plans to address the large number of third-party contractors it uses, he said.

“Elon Musk was in rare form when confronting his critics, but made it clear that the short term focus of Tesla continues to be squarely on the Model 3,” Jessica Caldwell, executive director of industry analysis for Edmunds, said in an email. “The corporate restructuring he casually mentioned may be the monkey wrench that gets thrown into these [production] plans, which can have serious ramifications on a company already plagued with high turnover.”

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
TSLATESLA INC.358.39-1.29-0.36%

Tesla affirmed on Wednesday that it aims to build 5,000 Model 3 sedans per week by the end of the second quarter. Weekly production of 2,270 units in April fell short of Tesla’s goal of 2,500.

The company reported a smaller first-quarter loss than expected, while revenue also beat estimates. Capital spending will come in below $3 billion this year, Tesla said. It previously forecast spending of at least $3.4 billion.