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Chief Investment Officer Slams Tesla as ‘Hope Stock’: ‘It’s Just not Real’

US market regulators are reportedly stepping up their scrutiny of Elon Musk's claim that he has the financing to take Tesla private
AFP

Tesla, the embattled electric car company headed up by billionaire CEO Elon Musk, is merely a “hope stock,” that is “just not real,” according to The Embark Group Chief Investment Officer Peter Toogood.

In an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box Europe on Tuesday, Toogood dismissed Tesla’ prospects of revolutionizing the automotive industry, instead, predicting the company will likely go bust akin to its predecessors. “Are we living in the real world?” Tesla is just another one of those hope stocks,” the fund manager scoffed.

Musk announced in a blog post last Friday that Tesla’s board of directors would no longer study proposals to take the electric car company private despite claiming he secured funding for the move at $420 per share in a shock August 7 tweet. “I worked with Silver Lake, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, who have world-class expertise in these matters, to consider the many factors that would come into play in taking Tesla private, and to process all the incoming interest that we received from investors to fund a go-private transaction,” the erratic serial entrepreneur wrote. “I also spent considerable time listening to current shareholders, large and small, to understand what they think would be in the best long-term interests of Tesla.”

Musk said steering focus away from Model 3 production and the prospect of institutional investors facing “internal compliance issues,” led him to squash plans to take the Palo Alto-based company private.

“After considering all of these factors, I met with Tesla’s Board of Directors yesterday and let them know that I believe the better path is for Tesla to remain public. The Board indicated that they agree,” he wrote. “We’ve shown that we can make great sustainable energy products, and we now need to show that we can be sustainably profitable.”

Toogood not only believes Tesla is facing financial ruin, but also takes issue with Musk’s claim that Tesla is on the bleeding edge of the car manufacturing industry.  “He’s losing money every time he sells a car today, and he can’t service them,” the investor said. “Ask Norway, they can’t actually get the car serviced because there’s no network to service them. It’s just not real.”

This week, various analysts downgraded Tesla, while CFRA, one of the world’s largest independent financial research firms, slashed the stock’s price target.

Toogood’s remarks follow a recent New York Post report, in which Tesla insiders describe the company as a “sh*tshow,” under Musk’s failed leadership. “Elon talks about being a socialist and doing good for mankind — unless you work for them,” a Tesla employee told the paper. “It’s a sh*t show.” “He is very difficult to move off his stance. He’ll say, ‘The car can do X, Y or Z,’ And yes, that is possible — two decades from now,” another source revealed. “He bases his argument on the physically possible rather than the practical reality.”

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