Tesla shares (NASDAQ:TSLA) are up 0.28%, trading at $294.17 per share during intraday on Thursday, showing resilience amid reports that the company is now the subject of a safety investigation by California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal-OSHA).
The Cal-OSHA’s safety investigation comes just a few days after the Center for Investigative Reporting’s Reveal published a long article alleging that Tesla was intentionally neglecting to report its employees’ serious injuries in order to make its safety record appear better. Citing former employees, the publication alleged that several of Tesla’s safety problems were the result of CEO Elon Musk’s preferences. In one instance, a former Tesla employee claimed that there were very few hazard signs in the Fremont factory simply because Musk dislikes the color yellow. Tesla has denied these allegations.
In a statement to Bloomberg News on Wednesday, Erika Monterroza, a spokeswoman for the state’s industrial relations department, noted that Cal-OSHA takes reports of workplace hazards very seriously. While Monterroza did not specify Reveal’s report, she did confirm that the agency has an open safety investigation on Tesla.
“The state agency takes seriously reports of workplace hazards and allegations of employers’ underreporting recordable work-related injuries and illnesses and currently has an open inspection at Tesla,” she said.
Tesla has issued a response to Cal-OSHA’s safety investigation. In a statement to Bloomberg News, the electric car maker pledged its full cooperation of the ongoing probe.
“Cal-OSHA is required to investigate any claims that are made, regardless of whether they have merit or are baseless (as we believe these are), and we always provide our full cooperation. We have never in the entire history of our company received a violation for inaccurate or incomplete injury record-keeping,” Tesla wrote.
Tesla also noted that last year, Cal-OSHA had already investigated the company’s injury reporting and record-keeping. According to the Elon Musk-led company, the probe was closed after the agency found no violations in its operations.
Amidst news of the ongoing Cal-OSHA investigation, analysts from Morgan Stanley have published a note titled Tesla’s next move: $200 or $400? In the note, Morgan Stanley analysts led by Adam Jonas maintained their Neutral rating on TSLA stock, as noted in a MarketWatch report. The financial firm, however, opted to slightly lower their price target from $379 to $376 per share, representing a 27% upside over Wednesday’s figures.
“We see the next three months as the most critical time in Tesla’s history since the Model S launch six years ago,” the analysts wrote in the note.
Tesla also announced that it would release its first quarter 2018 financial results report after markets close on May 2, 2018. A live webcast of its Q1 2018 earnings call is also set to begin at 2:30 p.m. PST (5:30 p.m. EST), where the company will discuss its its business and financial results, as well as its outlook.
Tesla shares have lost 1.5% over the past 12 months. In comparison, the S&P index gained 16% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 21% during the same period.