• Tesla loses -9%, a day after reporting a miss on earnings & revenue for the first time since 2019

  • Elon now US$24bn poorer 

  • But Forbes says he’s still the wealthiest on Earth

  • X (ex-Twitter) drops NYT verified gold badge

  • But does go to NZ with an X (ex-Twitter) no bot $1 experiment

  • September Aussie X (ex-Twitter) traffic has dropped -17.5% YoY, according to new reports


Everything, everywhere, all at once is how Elon often likes to go about business, and this week is no different, yet also very different.

First up…

Shares of Elon Musk’s Tesla have ended the overnight session down -9%, a day after the EV innovator released ordinary after market Q3 results this week, a sorry miss on both top and bottom lines.

“We dug our own grave with Cybertruck,” he admitted on an earnings call, CNBC reports. “It is going to require immense work to reach volume production and be cash flow positive at a price people can afford.”

It’s a second straight session of declines after the price fell just under -5%, Wednesday.

However, nothing EM does is in a vaccumm (though space, yes) so when he started remonstrating on a dynamite earnings call that high US cash rates would sap and/or kill the weaker EV makers and certainly nix demand – the share prices of the entire sector began to drop.

The world’s most valuable automaker’s share price ended down -9.3%, at circa US$220, erasing more than US$70 billion off TSLA’s market cap.

Fortunately Elon was in fantastic distractive form, getting into all the big issues other than Q3 at TSLA.

“I apologise if I’m more paranoid than I should be, because that might also be the case, because I have PTSD from 2009, big time. And 2017 through 2019 were no picnic either. So, you know, the auto industry is also somewhat cyclic. People hesitate to buy a new car if there’s uncertainty in the economy.”

Elon still boasts a stake in Tesla worth more than 20% and Forbes says that accounts for 68% of his wealth – and thus he’s going to bed in the States some US$24bn poorer than when he woke up.

Forbes says Musk’s net worth should now be circa US$232.2bn; he’s still world’s richest person.

Kyle Rodda at Capital.com told Stockhead, while Tesla’s done well this year, (the stock has recovered by some 90% year-to-date), overall, the results were a notable miss.

“Earnings per share fell to 66 cents, below the 74-cent consensus estimate.  Revenue was also a fraction lower than expected, with margins falling slightly more than forecast to 17.9%. Free cash flow was also significantly weaker.

“Existing price cuts have hurt the business’s short-term performance, but the focus of investors appears to be future production, especially of the Cybertruck. The vehicle will be rolled out on November 30, and Elon Musk has warned that the ramp-up will be ‘extremely difficult’.”


Elon certainly prepped the Muskeratti with some genuine under-promising – saying that Tesla’s ‘game-changing’ Cybertruck wouldn’t make a dime of significant positive cashflow for as long as 18 months after production begins, and mused aloud the company must find a way to make cars more affordable – pinning the problem on the Fed’s furious fight vs inflation via higher-for-longer interest rates.

“I just can’t emphasize (sic) enough how important cost is… We have to make our products more affordable so people can buy it.”

Making Cybertrucks and cheaper Teslas, Elon suggested, was like, well, “Game of Thrones for pennies”.

“I mean, as a first approximation, if you’ve got a $40,000 car and roughly 10,000 items in that car, that means each thing, on average, costs four bucks. So, in order to get the cost down, say, by 10%, you have to get 40 cents out of each part, on average. It is a game of pennies …

“It does feel like digging a tunnel with a spoon at times.”

Tesla announced via X (ex-Twitter), also owned and sometimes run by Elon, that “Cybertruck production remains on track for later this year, with first deliveries scheduled for November 30th at Giga Texas.”

Then Tesla, this time via the Cybertruck account on Elon’s X, declared news of a Giga “delivery event” on the same date.

The shareholder deck (below) noted the Cybertruck is in “pilot production” with the Texas Giga Fac capable of making 125K of them every year.

Down-talk the thing all he likes, there’s no doubt the rollout is building toward something significant in Elon’s ever-cunning plans:


Musk musings

Elon had a lot to get off his chest during the Tesla earnings call, Reuters reporting that he also called out anyone going for work-from-home policies as ‘privileged and out of touch.’

“These are some real Marie Antoinette vibes from people who say why doesn’t everyone work from home,” he said.

“What about all the people that have to come to the factory and build the cars, and all the people who have to go to the restaurant and make your food and deliver your food? It’s like, what are you talking about? I mean, how detached from reality does the work-from-home crowd have to be while they take advantage of those who cannot work from home.”

Tesla Q3 vs Wall Street:

  • Earnings: 66 US cents per share adjusted vs US 73 cents per share expected

  • Revenue: $23.35 billion per share vs $24.1 billion expected

  • First time: That Tesla’s missed on both earnings and revenue since its Q2 2019 report in July 2019.


Meanwhile, at one of Elon’s other side gigs…

The social media platform X has begun charging a $1 fee to new users in the Philippines and New Zealand, in a test designed to cut down on the spam and fake accounts flourishing on the site formerly known as Twitter.

The platform started testing a new subscription model, called Not A Bot, on Tuesday for users creating new accounts in New Zealand and in the Philippines, according to a blog post from the company.

New accounts will have to verify their phone number and pay US$1 annually to post content, like posts, reply or do other key functions.

Elon said X’s started trying out the annual subscription method for new and unverified accounts. The program won’t apply to existing users.

It’s not terrifically clear why the new no-bots thing only applies to New Zealand and the Philippines or why these two countries were selected, (although New Zealand’s magnificent harmlessness as a nation comes to the mind of this author).

“It’s the only way to fight bots without blocking real users,” Musk posted on X after the test was announced. “This won’t stop bots completely, but it will be 1000X harder to manipulate the platform.”

Stuck in traffic

Traffic at the once must-own social media trendsetter has fallen significantly, according to new research in another black X on Elon’s rocky run as owner of the former tech shooting star.

Similarweb reports that Australia’s September traffic on X, compared to last September, has crashed by 17.5%.

The US which makes up circa 25% of all X traffic, has fallen 19% over the same period.

All up traffic worldwide is down 14%, while X’s ad portal for companies wanting to advertise on the website is also down 16.5%.

Musk bought the company – when it was Twittering and not X-ing – for US$44 billion in April.

He’s been tweaking it ever since, not always to great applause.

X no longer marks the New York Times

Very early this morning in Sydenham, it appears X has removed the gold “verified” badge X now presents for verified accounts from the left-leaning New York Times’ account – a news organisation which Elon had recently suggested was overdue to be ‘cancelled’.

Musk cancelled Twitter’s decade-old system of verifying real politicians, journalists and other public figures with a special tag, but quickly replaced it with a controversial  pay-for-tweet scheme offering some blue badges to any individual who pays US$8 a month and gold badges to any “verified organisation” that pays at least US$1,000 a month.

After the NYT wouldn’t pay up, Musk X-d his support for the paper’s badge to be immediately nixed and thus the Times became the first major account to lose verification.

Later in April, X reinstated the badge for the Times and other big accounts, including for those who declined to pay or said they didn’t want it.

The badge was the only symbol distinguishing the Times’ 55-million-follower account from impostors amid two major global conflicts in Israel and Ukraine, says the Washington Post, adding that ‘X has hosted and helped amplify a flood of false information related to the Israel-Gaza war, some of which Musk has personally endorsed.’

Then there’s this, as a measure of the weird and wonderful world of Elon

As per the fashion person Ian Connor’s Instagram post on Wednesday: Kanye West aka President Ye,  asked him to share screenshots of a text chat purported to be with our Elon, so the public can… learn of it/ from it??


Screenshot via Instagram