Tesla CEO Elon Musk irked investors this week by outright refusing to answer an analyst question about the company’s financial future. Well, to be fair, Musk didn’t so much as refuse to answer the question as he mocked the analyst for broaching it in the first place.
Here’s how it all went down. When asked if Tesla might need an infusion of capital, Musk responded: “Excuse me. Next. Boring bonehead questions are not cool. Next?” Shortly thereafter, analyst Joseph Spak of RBC Capital Markets asked a question about Model 3 reservations, Musk punted altogether and opted to take a question via YouTube.
“We’re going to go to YouTube,” Musk said. “Sorry. These questions are so dry. They’re killing me.”
Predictably, Musk’s outright dismissal of the above questions didn’t exactly inspire faith among investors. Indeed, shares of the company quickly dropped by nearly 26 points from Wednesday to Thursday before making up a little bit of ground since then.
Following this bizarre turn of events, Musk took to Twitter today and apologized for his behavior, calling it “foolish.” That notwithstanding, Musk did shed some light on why he thought their questions were not worth answering. In effect, Musk issued a classic non-apology apology.
“The 2 questioners I ignored on the Q1 call are sell-side analysts who represent a short seller thesis, not investors,” Musk explained. “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, along with details in the body of the letter.”
In a subsequent tweet, Musk explained: “Reason RBC question about Model 3 demand is absurd is that 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.”
And in typical Musk fashion, the Tesla CEO added one final tweet where he said that the “short burn of the century” is coming soon for Tesla bears. Incidentally, Tesla’s recent letter to shareholders relayed that the company believes it will be able to turn a profit before the end of the year.