Death, Taxes, and David Einhorn complaining about Tesla being successful.
Those are the three certainties in life. And like clockwork, after Tesla announced yet another successful quarter in the books yesterday during its Q1 2020 Earnings Call, Einhorn was right there trying to accuse Elon Musk or Zachary Kirkhorn of fraudulent behavior. But, let’s face it, a guy who lost 21.5% for his clients in Q1 2020 has to cast stones at someone, and it might as well be someone who is doing well, right?
I know those first two tidbits of information sound harsh; they are honestly supposed to. But I will admit, I wasn’t always an Einhorn skeptic. In my spare time, I’m a poker player, and Einhorn is too, and he’s a successful one. And it is hard for a poker player not to like him, considering all of his winnings get donated to charity. With over $5.2 million in live cashes, a majority of that coming from a massive cash at the $1 million buy-in One Drop tournament at the World Series of Poker. That’s a lot of money to a good cause.
So I admit, David Einhorn is not all that bad of a guy. But he continues to play the villain in Tesla’s successful string of quarters, continually accusing the company and its executives of not playing by the rules. But hey, to each his own.
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Every single time Tesla has a successful quarter, Einhorn seems to be stalking the company’s Update Letter like a tiger waiting for its prey. However, tigers usually are successful when they see potential food, and Einhorn just continues to sit there and look more like the prey at this point.
On the 30th of April, Einhorn tweeted another note toward Elon, asking him to justify Tesla’s accounts receivable. “Tesla’s claim for why there are so many for a product where the customers pay upfront, was that sales are crazily concentrated in the last days of the month–so much so that it matters if the month ends on a weekend. This quarter ended on a Tuesday,” he wrote.
Einhorn continues to come off like an obsessed ex-girlfriend, always worried about what Elon puts online, and makes extended digs toward the CEO of Tesla and his employees. But I guess what do you have to say for yourself when the stock you notoriously short continues to rise and your investors continue to lose money on your behalf.
Is it not all possible that Tesla experienced minimal financial loss even though Fremont was shut down for about a month at the tail end of the quarter? Is it at all possible that the most successful Q1 in company history had something to do with the fact that Tesla’s production rates are higher than they were a quarter ago? That another factory in the biggest auto market in the world is also churning out electric vehicles and selling them at higher numbers than any other vehicle in the market? That the same exact factory in that auto market is producing a car that had a 450% increase in registrations from February to March, despite the entire car industry falling?
This, to me, looks like Einhorn is using a typical case of what is called confirmation bias. He accused Tesla, in his brief note on Twitter, of fudging the numbers. But the problem is, the information is readily available out there on basically any site that covers electric vehicles.
Let me break it down for you this way, Einhorn. I’ll even use poker terms! Tesla is experiencing an upswing in China, and the rest of the market is experiencing a downswing. Every other company is managing to lose money because nobody is buying their cars, even though production is continuing. Tesla is making money because they continue to sell the Model 3 in astoundingly high numbers.
Not only has Tesla made the Model 3 one of the most appealing cars in all of China, but they’re beginning to offer different variants. Before it was just the SR+, now there’s a Long Range and a Performance variant. Tesla even announced that the white interior is available for the Model 3 now, which could be a big deal for some.
Tesla’s Q2 might be a little bit rougher than Q1, especially if Fremont’s shut down continues until June, as reports have suggested. Perhaps Einhorn should have just taken Q1 on the chin, gotten rid of his “TSLAQ” title, and left the likes of other short sellers Jim Chanos in his rearview mirror. After all, David, it is not too late to get your hands on some beautiful TSLA stock. I hear its lovely to own some!
Part of me hopes that one day, Einhorn heads out to Silicon Valley, meets up with Elon for lunch and a tour, and switches sides, all in those short shorts that Musk sent him a few months back. After all, Tesla is fighting for the future of our planet, and short selling the stock is primarily environmental terrorism considering the company’s goal is to keep the Earth going.
Maybe one day, I’ll get to sit across from Einhorn at a poker table. If I do, I promise to ask him when he’s going to stop shorting TSLA and begin to believe the Master Plan. But if I don’t, I surely won’t lose sleep over it.
After all, I won’t be the one wearing vintage short shorts.