Tesla burns $999 million in cash on way to record loss
ELON Musk has apologised for mistreating two analysts in a bizarre meeting, as Tesla reported the largest quarterly loss in its history.
The electric car innovators burned through $US739.5 million ($A999 million) in cash in just three months, paving the way for the company to record a $US717.5 million net loss as it continues to crank out more vehicles.
Its maverick chief executive officer Mr Musk pledged to post net profits in future quarters, and on a conference call on Wednesday apologised to two analysts he cut off on the company's first-quarter call - blaming his recent 110-hour working weeks for making him cranky.
His behaviour has been cast into the spotlight since he made an unfounded criminal accusation about one of the rescuers who helped save a group of young boys and their soccer coach from a cave in Thailand last month.
However, investors haven't been freaked out by his unorthodox style or the massive losses as Tesla's shares jumped 9.3 per cent to $US328.85 ($A446.61) in after-hours trading on Wednesday.
The huge net loss more than doubled from the same quarter a year ago, and was slightly larger than the first quarter.
Analysts are now looking closely at Tesla's cash levels, as the company worked hard to reach its long-sought milestone of making 5000 Model 3s in a week.
As it has low cash reserves, investors have worried that Tesla would need to borrow more money to keep the company afloat.
But Tesla's cash burn in the second quarter slowed from about $US1.1 billion ($A1.4 billion).
On the call, Musk also said he expects the company to avoid returning to the markets for capital and to be "essentially self-funding on a go-forward basis".
Tesla would use money generated from sales to fund big projects such as an estimated $US2 billion ($A2.72 billion) new factory in China and another plant in Europe, he said.
The company also said that Model 3 gross profit margins turned slightly positive during the quarter as it worked out expensive kinks in its manufacturing system.
Last quarter, Mr Musk snapped at two analysts by calling their queries about the company's cash needs and Model 3 orders "so dry" and "not cool".
The call triggered a stock sell-off and raised questions about the tech innovator's behaviour.
However, on Wednesday, Mr Musk apologised to both and said he was tired from working more than 110 hours per week last quarter.
"It's not right," he told an analyst from RBC Capital Markets. "Hope you accept my apologies."
He has also apologised for calling one of the divers involved in rescuing a Thai soccer team from a flooded cave, a "pedo".
The tech billionaire has been criticised for lashing out at Vern Unsworth, 63, after the British diver shot down Mr Musk's idea to free 12 boys and their soccer coach as a "PR stunt".
"His actions against me do not justify my actions against him, and for that I apologise to Mr Unsworth and to the companies I represent as leader," Mr Musk tweeted after his controversial comments. "The fault is mine and mine alone."
In a statement released after the markets closed on Wednesday, Tesla said it expects to produce 50,000 to 55,000 Model 3s in the third quarter, an increase of at least 75 per cent from the first quarter.
- with wires