Tesla surprises with positive Q1 earnings report but Musk still isn't happy.
While most automakers have taken serious financial hits this business quarter, Tesla had some good news to report to investors. The EV automaker has released its financial results for the first quarter of 2020 and, surprisingly, things are looking good.
Tesla announced it made $5.985 billion in revenue, reporting a profit of $0.09 per share. These figures met expectations in revenue and beat them for earnings. Tesla stock increased by 3 percent following the announcement. Tesla also informed shareholders it's looking good financially and can weather the coronavirus storm with $8 billion in cash on hand.
Compared to Ford, which reported a $2 billion first-quarter loss while anticipating another $5 billion loss for the current quarter, Tesla is in very good shape. However, as Tesla revealed this positive financial news, CEO Elon Musk was making statements that have sparked some controversy.
On Wednesday, Musk wrote on Twitter:
"To say that they cannot leave their house and they will be arrested if they do, this is fascist. This is not democratic, this is not freedom, give people their god damn freedom." He then doubled down on that comment in response to a journalist tweeting his remarks with this response: "Hell yeah!!" This wasn't the first time Musk tweeted his frustration with the way authorities are handling the pandemic. On March 6, he wrote that "the coronavirus panic is dumb!"
That might have made some investors angry because soon afterward Tesla offered to donate ventilators to hospitals. But the coronavirus itself may not be the precise source of Musk's anger, but rather the fact that it forced the closure of Tesla's Freemont factory in California.
Like other automakers, Tesla had to shut down its production line and furlough employees. The pandemic has also disrupted demand for new vehicles throughout the country. With unemployment continuing to increase in the midst of economic uncertainty, people are less likely to buy premium products, specifically vehicles. Despite the Tesla Model 3 having an affordable base price, it's still pricier than the average vehicle.
With production grounded to a halt and decreased sales, it's no wonder Musk is frustrated, but stoking controversy may not be the best answer.