Investor's Corner

Top 5 things Tesla (TSLA) investors want to know from the Q3 2019 earnings call

Tesla’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) retail and institutional investors are aggregating a number of inquiries that will potentially be addressed by the electric car maker’s executives in the upcoming Q3 2019 earnings call, which will be held later today, October 23, 2019. The questions are aggregated from verified TSLA shareholders by Say, a startup that aims to create and develop investor communication tools.

Using the platform, Tesla’s retail and institutional investors have been submitting and voting on inquiries they wish to be discussed and clarified by the electric car maker. Here are the Top 5 questions that garnered a notable number of votes from the company’s retail and institutional shareholders.

Retail Shareholders

  1. Can you provide more detail on the DeepScale acquisition, its importance, and whether Tesla is still on track to recognize and respond to traffic lights and stop signs with automatic driving on city streets at the end of 2019?
  2. There is skepticism regarding your comment that Full Self Driving will be ‘feature complete’ by year end, likely resulting from confusion about what ‘feature complete’ means. Could you please talk to this, perhaps give us a list of the features that establish the FSD baseline?
  3. News reports suggest that GF3 may already be producing Model 3s for the Chinese market. Could you update us on the production expectations for GF3 and confirm the purpose of the second building now being built? Is it for battery production as suggested by some press outlets?
  4. What is your current timetable for initial Model Y deliveries?
  5. Can you update us on the initial results of Tesla Car Insurance? Is there a timeline to expand it nationally/internationally?

Institutional Shareholders

  1. Could you update us on the progress being made towards FSD, the trajectory of revenue recognition associated with this and the level of performance at which you see full revenue recognition for FSD? Additionally, how do you see pricing developing for this product?
  2. With respect to Model Y, what is your latest expectation for launch timing, do you anticipate any Model 3 production downtime at Fremont during the launch, and how should Model Y gross margin % look vs Model 3 gross margin%?
  3. Can you provide an update on FSD package attach rates. As FSD attach rates improve, will you let the financial benefits manifest in higher gross margins for the company/shareholders; or will you lower vehicle pricing to drive deliveries volume?
  4. Can you provide an update on when you think the company can achieve sustainable profitability while absorbing the costs of new product lines and factory ramps? Can the company become fully self-funding any time soon?
  5. What are the opportunities for Tesla to create demand? Is word of mouth still sufficient or should we expect to see Tesla commence advertising in the near future?

Tesla is yet to fully confirm if it will be entertaining questions from Say in the upcoming earnings call, though the company has addressed inquiries from retail shareholders in the past quarters. In the second-quarter earnings call, retail investors representing around $34 million worth of TSLA shares were able to have multiple inquiries addressed before company executives took questions from Wall Street analysts.

Tesla is quite unique in the way that it is willing to democratize its process of communicating its earnings to shareholders and its institutional investors. Such a strategy is yet another step away from convention, considering that traditional earnings calls usually feature exclusive questions from Wall Street analysts and the occasional member of the media.

Tesla’s third-quarter earnings call is expected to be held on Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at 3:30 p.m. Pacific Time (6:30 p.m. Eastern Time).

The full list of questions from TSLA’s retail and institutional investors listed on Say could be accessed here.

Top 5 things Tesla (TSLA) investors want to know from the Q3 2019 earnings call
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