Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Questions America Wants Answered: "Where Is Tesla's 10-Q?" (TSLA)

It's been filed, link below.

From Forbes' Great Speculations:
In my April 11 column I advocated shorting AppleTwitter and Tesla ahead of earnings.  Since my column posted Apple shares have fallen 14.2%, Twitter shares have fallen 11.9% and Tesla shares have fallen 15.5%.  So, I am feeling pretty darn good about my 3-for-3.  Apple and Twitter’s numbers have been dissected to death by the financial analyst community, but Tesla’s numbers are still in question nearly a week after the release of their quarterly shareholder letter last Wednesday.

Why?  Because Tesla has yet to file with the SEC its 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31st.  Tesla has always been a slow filer, but last year’s March 10-Q was filed three business days after the company’s earnings release, and we’ve passed that threshold this time.  The deadline for large companies to file March quarter 10-Qs is today, and I have no reason to believe that Tesla will miss that deadline.  It is very suspicious, though, that they would let it go until the last minute.

Tesla’s reporting opacity is in a league of its own, and only Berkshire Hathaway (as I discussed in this column about KraftHeinz) thumbs its nose at financial conventions and analyst protocols as flagrantly as Tesla does.  But Buffett’s Berkshire is vast, sprawling conglomerate.  Tesla essentially does one thing: make cars.  So why does it take them so long to produce basic financial details (quarterly results are not audited, as per U.S. custom) when they only delivered 14,810 cars in the quarter?

I don’t know. That’s such a common refrain with Tesla.  I don’t know.  How many cars did they deliver in the U.S. versus other geographies in the quarter?  I don’t know.  Amazingly, Tesla does not report deliveries by region, while every other car manufacturer in the world gives out excruciating detail for unit sales. Elon Musk stated in Tesla’s first quarter shareholder letter that model S orders rose 45% in the quarter, but to what level? What’s Tesla’s book-to-bill?  I don’t know....MORE
Ah, here it is.