Tesla Motors reports its quarterly earnings this evening, and for the first time in 21 quarters, I will not be on the call asking Elon Musk & crew a question.
As of May 2016, I am stepping back from day to day coverage of Tesla Motors. I’ll remain affiliated with my firm as an advisory analyst and will be working behind the scenes with my analyst replacement.
My office has a sloping ceiling, and on the slant just within my gaze are large stenciled numbers: 2061. That is the year that my life expectancy runs out, based on a typical aged 34 female. I rarely share this fact because it sounds a bit disturbing and morbid.
But for me, it provides focus.
I work better with a deadline.
And I feel strongly that my work as a stock analyst is done and it is time for me to move on to other things.
I am launching my own executive / professional coaching business, Solve for X Coaching, where I will work with executives and mid-career professionals on life transition and communication & leadership style.
Being a Wall Street stock analyst on Tesla Motors (TSLA) shares from 2010 to 2016 has greatly enriched my life and understanding of the world. I took pride in the depth of my analysis and research — I always started from a position of skepticism and asking, “Where could Tesla go wrong?” But early on, it became clear that the bigger question — the world changing one — was, “Where could Tesla go right?”
My firm gave me the opportunity to call the truth on Tesla as I see it. And we get to that truth by analyzing the following three questions, at their simplest: Does Tesla have a technology lead that is real? Can Tesla build it? Will people come?
Answering those questions took me on a journey into researching battery pack manufacturing, touring battery manufacturing competitors, creating relationships with suppliers, and constantly talking with industry. My financial model, which I built from scratch, modeled out Tesla revenue and expenses for the next several years at a granular level — even at some points analyzing the costs of a lithium-ion battery down to the cathode, anode, electrolyte and separator. I have written volumes of research for Wall Street clients addressing Tesla-related topics. Unfortunately, that research is not available to the general public and was shared only with firm clients.
Does Tesla have a technology lead that is real? Can Tesla build it? Will people come?
Yes, yes and yes.
The quarterly earnings conference calls were just a small part of my research on Tesla, but they were usually fun and productive. I have helped to generate some informative conversations with CEO Elon Musk, CTO JB Straubel and the rest of the Tesla team over the years — my questions have unearthed the Gigafactory plans, whether Tesla really needs to produce the Model X, and whether, given constraints, Tesla would build batteries for electric cars or solar storage. I’ll truly miss that part of the job.
As an independent third-party analyst, I’ve always been prohibited from personally buying the stock. I can’t wait to buy in.
May the 4th be with us.