tesla

Tesla is possibly the most polarizing company in current times, and so is its CEO Elon Musk. Musk has recently been in the news after Twitter sued him for backing out of the deal to acquire the company.

Walking out from the Twitter acquisition, which he had vigorously pursued despite Twitter board’s initial reluctance, is yet another about-turn from the Tesla CEO. He has also changed his mind on cryptocurrencies on multiple occasions.

In 2021, Tesla not only invested in bitcoins but also started to accept them as a currency to buy Tesla cars. Soon, the company stopped accepting bitcoins as payments. In the second quarter of 2022, the Elon Musk-run company sold most of its bitcoins.

It recorded a $170 million impairment charge on its bitcoin holdings but booked a gain of $64 million on the sale in the second quarter. Musk had a heartbreak of sorts with bitcoins last year and he doubted their energy efficiency. The world’s richest person then put his weight behind dogecoin and became the self-proclaimed dogefather. Musk however called dogecoin a “hustle” and despite the Twitter poll, he did not accept the meme cryptocurrency as payment for Tesla cars.

Now, Musk has added to his long streak of about turns. In an interview with Tesla Owners Silicon Valley, which was recorded late last month, Musk said, “Both Berlin and Austin factories are gigantic money furnaces right now. Okay? It should be like a giant roaring sound which is the sound of money on fire.”

Musk added, “Berlin and Austin are losing billions of dollars right now because there’s a ton of expense and hardly any output. Getting Berlin and Austin functional and getting Shanghai back in the saddle fully are overwhelmingly our concerns. Everything else is a very small thing basically.”

Tesla Increases Capex Budget despite Musk Being Worried about a Recession

Musk has also been worried about a recession and has said that he has “super bad feelings” about the economy. Tesla has also cut its salaried workforce as the company works toward cutting its costs. Meanwhile, despite all the gloom and doom that Musk has been forecasting, Tesla said in its SEC filing that the company would increase its 2022 capex budget to $6-$8 billion, which is higher than the previous forecast of $5-$7 billion.

Usually, companies increase their capex budgets when they are optimistic on the economy. Musk’s public position on the economy has actually been quite the opposite. In the past also, Musk has done such flip-flops multiple times. In 2020, he said that Tesla would not raise cash as it has sufficient funds to boost its growth. The company ended up raising $13 billion that year. The same year, Musk said that he finds Tesla stock overvalued, but soon ended up defending the $1 trillion valuation.

Meanwhile, in its filings, Tesla has also revealed a subpoena related to Musk’s infamous “taking Tesla private” tweet which cost him the position as the company’s chairman.

Analysts are Mixed on TSLA Stock

Wall Street analysts are mixed on Tesla stock. On Friday, Argus reiterated Tesla stock as a buy. Despite the many controversies surrounding Tesla and Musk, the stock hasn’t disappointed bulls.

Tesla’s market cap of $840 billion is about thrice Toyota Motors. Tesla has been growing fast though and Musk expects the company’s deliveries to rise at a CAGR of 50% over the next few years. Tesla has been able to exceed Wall Street expectations over the last two years despite the pandemic, global supply chain issues, as well as lockdowns in China.

Things have been tough for other EV companies and both Lucid Motors and Rivian have lowered their delivery forecasts. Even Polestar, which recently listed through a SPAC reverse merger, has also lowered its 2022 delivery guidance from 65,000 to 50,000 units.

Meanwhile, Tesla stock might also be volatile this week as we get a flurry of earnings as well as the Fed’s rate hike decision. Rate hikes are negative for growth stocks like Tesla.

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