Tesla to add Atari games to its electric cars

Daniel Fowler
August 2, 2018

His first question came from Bernstein's A.M. (Toni) Sacconaghi, an analyst he butted heads with during the first-quarter conference call. He also had complained about a "dry" question from RBC Capital Markets' Joseph Spak.

Today the CEO apologized not once, but twice to the same analysts on the call. Obviously I think there's no excuse for that.

The analysts reciprocated their acceptance of his apology at certain points. We're speaking of Pole Position, and if Musk gets his way you'll be able to play the game using the Tesla's own steering wheel. But the more fundamental factors had to do with Tesla's vehicle production rates and the prospects for future profits.

Tesla says it lost almost $743 million between April and June this year, compared with about $785 million last quarter.

Tesla ended June with about US$2.2 billion in cash on its balance sheet, the least it's carried since the first quarter of 2016. That was worse than Wall Street estimates of a $2.88 loss per share.

Despite a rocky first half - ncluding missed manufacturing targets, a downgrade of its debt and a recent report showing the company took the unusual step of asking suppliers to refund money on payments already made - Tesla's stock has been resilient. To achieve 55,000 deliveries in the second quarter would require an average of more than 4,200 units per week.

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The company said it maintained its targeted level of production, making 5,000 Model 3s in a week multiple times in July.

The all-electric automaker said that it had made $4 billion in vehicle, battery and leasing revenue during the second quarter of the year, a sharp increase over the same quarter last year because it had finally introduced its newest Model 3 sedan.

Tesla delivered its 200,000th electric auto - including its more expensive Model S and X vehicles - in July, a threshold which means a $7,500 federal subsidy will remain in place to the end of the year. Going forward, Musk said he expected that rate to become the average for the third quarter, compared with a weekly average of about 2,000 cars for last year's corresponding quarter.

Tesla also recently announced plans to build a new factory in China, an investment Mr Musk said would be about $2bn and produce about 250,000 vehicles annually.

It shipped 40,768 cars in the second quarter, including 22,319 Model S and Model X vehicles, and 18,449 Model 3s.

In his crosshairs is hedge fund manager David Einhorn, who said his wrong bet that Tesla stock would fall was a big reason for his fund's poor performance in the second quarter.

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