Tesla jumps after Musk keeps dual role, voices optimism on Model 3 output
Shares of Tesla (TSLA) are higher as much as 4% on Wednesday morning following the company’s annual meeting in California.
At the meeting, shareholders rejected two proposals, including one that would have separated the roles of chairman and chief executive officer. Additionally, Elon Musk said the company will likely reach its goal of producing 5,000 Model 3 sedans “by the end of this month.”
SHAREHOLDERS REJECT SEPARATION OF CHAIRMAN, CEO ROLES
Tesla shareholders rejected two proposals that would have changed the company’s board, including one that would have removed CEO Elon Musk from the chairman role.
According to a CNBC report, Jiang Zhao, a shareholder who owns 12 shares of Tesla stock, brought forward the proposal to have an independent chairman, as he believes it is necessary to prevent conflicts of interest.
In May, proxy advisory firm ISS recommend that investors split the role of chairman and CEO, saying shareholders would “benefit from the strongest form of independent board oversight in the form of an independent chair.”
Shareholders also rejected a proposal to remove three Tesla board members up for re-election this year, which was brought by the CtW Investment Group.
CtW, which works with pension funds for unions, said in a letter last month that board members Antonio Gracias and Elon’s brother Kimbal Musk were too close to the CEO to ensure needed independence, while 21st Century Fox (FOX, FOXA) CEO James Murdoch lacked relevant experience.
According to Bloomberg, which viewed a copy of the letter, CtW said that “instead of recognizing the need for independent and effective board leadership, Tesla has re-nominated three directors who exemplify the company’s failure to evolve.”
‘QUITE LIKELY’ TO MEET MODEL 3 OUTPUT GOAL
At the meeting, Musk said that the carmaker’s goal of making 5,000 Model 3 vehicles per week by the end of June was “quite likely” as the car maker’s production lines were now demonstrating the ability to build 3,500 vehicles a week, Reuters reported. “This is the most excruciating hellish several months I’ve ever had… but I think we’re getting there,” Musk said.
Robin Ren, Tesla’s head of worldwide sales, announced at the meeting that the company intends to build its first factory outside of the U.S. in Shanghai, China, CNBC reported.
Unlike Tesla’s first U.S. factories, the company’s new “Dreadnought” factories should produce both batteries and assemble vehicles in one place.
Additionally, according to Business Insider, Musk said the company plans to reveal the Model Y next March and will likely go into production in early 2020. The report also said that the Semi will go into production in 2020 and that it will be slightly different than what was revealed in 2017 because the company has made improvements.
The Tesla Roadster will follow the same timeline for production and will have a SpaceX option package available, BI also said.
Musk has said that Tesla plans to be profitable and cash flow positive in Q3 and Q4, tweeting in April that there is “obviously no need to raise money.”
Musk previously said that the company was not planning to raise any capital before the end of 2019. He reiterated that during the shareholder meeting and said he is still confident that Tesla will become profitable in Q3 or Q4, BI reported.
Tesla originally sought to build 5,000 Model 3 vehicles a week by the end of 2017, but later revised its target to making 5,000 Model 3 cars by the end of the second quarter.
Citi analyst Itay Michaeli told investors this morning that while he appreciates the bull case of ramping Model 3 deliveries and Tesla achieving profitability in the second half of the year, thereby easing cash concerns and cementing the carmaker’s electric vehicle lead, he “can’t get there on risk/reward at this point.” Michaeli cut his price target for Tesla to $313 from $347 and maintained a Neutral rating on the shares.
Baird analyst Ben Kallo, who remains bullish on Tesla, said the body language at the meeting was positive, noted that shareholders approved the board of directors by a significant margin and expects management to achieve positive GAAP net income and positive cash flow in Q3 and Q4. Kallo keeps his Buy rating and $411 price target on Tesla.
Tesla is up about 5% in early trading to $305.76.
To read timely stories similar to this, along with money making trade ideas, sign up for a membership to Stockwinners.
This article does not constitute investment advice. Each reader is encouraged to consult with his or her individual financial professional and any action a reader takes as a result of information presented here is his or her own responsibility.