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Jim Cramer dismisses media freakout over Tesla's Q1 call

by Justin King
Jim Cramer dismisses media freakout over Tesla's Q1 call

The "Mad Money" host says the call was Elon Musk's "best conference call ever."

Elon Musk's confrontation with several analysts during Tesla's Q1 conference call has sparked somewhat of a media backlash. That is, aside from "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer and a few other exceptions.

Approximately a half hour into the call, Musk cut off analyst Tony Sacconaghi's "boring bonehead questions" on capital requirements and Joseph Spak's inquiry regarding the impact of news on Model 3 reservations. Musk has stated in recent weeks that Tesla's cash burn is strictly a function of not being able to get cars out the door, meaning it's not reflective of any fundamental problem with the company's business model. Musk has said those troublesome assembly line bottlenecks are about to be a thing of the past, precluding a need for more capital later this year.

"These questions are so dry," Musk said. "They're killing me." The chief executive then pivoted to taking questions from YouTube viewers, cutting short the allotment of time for Wall Street analysts.

Tesla's share price dropped by $10 following the call, prompting the typical flood of media reports implying the drama signaled a change in long-term investor sentiment.

Bloomberg, Reuters and other outlets framed Musk's comments as a childish outburst that "bites the hand that feeds", associating Wall Street analysts with the banks Tesla could hypothetically need for capital some day, seemingly ignoring the more complex reality in which sensational analyst reports and news media headlines feed into short-term trading strategies of investment banks

Coincidentally, as Tesla's stock price began to stabilize from the steep drop early in the call, Musk reaffirmed his focus on long-term goals and rejected pressure to make decisions to satisfy short-term stock trading interests.

"We have no interest in satisfying the desires of day traders," he said. "I couldn't care less. Please sell our stock and don't buy it."

Some journalists similarly complained that Musk's criticism of writers hellbent on sensationalizing autopilot accidents was akin to biting the hand that feeds his companies free marketing. Of course, sensational Tesla headlines provide a symbiotic opportunity for journalists and media outlets to attract readers.

But Jim Cramer's take on the situation is different. No stranger to brash remarks, the TV commentator and investor heaped on the praise, labeling the session "hands-down Musk's best conference call, ever" and thanking the executive for telling the truth.

"If you can't handle the heat of owning the most heavily shorted equity in the land, then get out of the kitchen, or the Gigafactory, or whatever," Cramer added.

To be clear, the energetic "Mad Money" host isn't exactly an evangelist for TSLA. He has taken the middle ground, cautioning that "people don't understand the risks that are associated with it."

Source: CNBC