Tesla CEO predicts profit despite big loss
DETROIT >> Tesla’s record net loss in the first quarter and fast-burn through millions of dollars is raising questions about the company’s ability to pay all its bills.
CEO Elon Musk conceded that criticism is valid but said during a sometimes-testy conference call with analysts Wednesday that it’s “quite likely” Tesla will make money and have positive cash flow in the third quarter.
“It’s high time we became profitable,” said Musk, who also promised restructuring this month to achieve profit goals.
“The truth is you’re not a real company until you are, frankly. That’s our focus right now.”
Wednesday’s results showed Tesla tearing through
$745.3 million in cash in the first quarter, due largely to the slow production ramp-up of the Model 3 mass-market electric sedan. The cash burn could put pressure on the company to borrow more or sell additional shares to raise more cash.
Tesla posted a record $709.6 million net loss in the first quarter. Revenue grew by 26 percent from a year ago to $3.4 billion.