Tesla’s stock price surges while shorts are betting against the company ahead of their big battery announcement

While Tesla’s stock price gained 6% this morning after a note from Deutsche Bank, short interest on Tesla’s stock increased to 21.3% of the outstanding shares. This is the highest level of short interest on Tesla in the past 13 months. Short interest contributed greatly to the previous few surges of Tesla’s stock price. In early 2013, short interest was over 30 million shares when Tesla reported a profit. Investors started covering their short position, which created a lot of demand for Tesla’s stock.

Tesla is holding an event Thursday to announce their home energy storage products. Historically, Tesla’s stock price increases prior to an announcement and then decreases after the event. This is commonly referred to as “buying on the rumor and selling on the news”. So far, this current event is not an exception with Tesla’s stock price gaining over 20% since Elon Musk tweeted about the upcoming event to be held at Tesla’s design studio in Hawthorne.

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Tesla Motors’ website and Twitter account were hacked

Tesla Motors’ website and Twitter account were hacked late Saturday afternoon by a group claiming to be the “Autismsquad” or “RIPPGANG” on Twitter. From about 4:30 PM ET and for a little less than an hour, the website displayed the following images:

Tesla_website_hacked

At about 5:25 PM ET Tesla’s website was back to normal. Then half an hour later, the website was back to the homepage displaying the hacked notice.

It’s not clear what are the intentions of the hackers, but they might be linked to the black hat hacking group “Lizard Squad”.

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Tesla updated its website to include pre-owned Model S with 178 cars available in the US

It is without any public announcement that Tesla updated its website Friday night to include a section for pre-owned vehicles. 178 cars were available in 11 locations in the US.

Unsurprisingly, most of the cars are equipped with the performance package. 116 out of the 178 pre-owned vehicles available in the US are P85 or P85+. When Tesla announced the new Model S versions with dual motor in October 2014, a significant number of performance Model S owners were showing interest in upgrading to the P85D.

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New Tesla Model S 70D are significantly more efficient than 2WD models it replaces

Tesla-empg

The US Dept of Energy released its eMPG ratings for Tesla’s new Model S 70D and it is the first Model S to go over the 100 MPGe.  In fact it is more that a 6% gain over the Model S 60 it replaced. Some of that efficiency will be chalked up to the dual motors that Elon Musk discussed in the launch of the D lineup. However, such a huge gain in performance might also be attributable to losses made in the weight in the vehicle since the S60 was launched 3 years ago.

If you look at the compare to the heavier battery 85KW models, you see particular gains in city driving where stopping and starting is more prevalent – a place where weight matters. Musk noted that the P85D would see some loss in efficiency due to the performance tires on the 3 second 0-60 supercar model.

Some older Tesla Model S stats below:

Tesla-effecient-gas

Tesla’s Model 3 prototype should be ready by the end of 2015

Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal published an article titled “Tesla Offers Slight Glimpse Into Model 3’s Status”. The article is based on yesterday’s filings with the SEC about Tesla’s upcoming shareholders meeting. The only new information we have about the Model 3 from these documents is that Tesla didn’t complete the alpha prototype of the Model 3 in the last 4 months. I don’t think this is the best way to look at this information.

In their last 10K filing published February 26th,  Tesla estimated the completion of the Model 3 alpha prototype as “probable of achievement”. The completion of the prototype is a milestone for Elon Musk’s CEO stock compensation plan and Tesla needs to disclose the probability of achieving the milestones in order for shareholders to estimate potential stock compensation expenses.

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Elon Musk confirmed a timeframe for the Roadster update via Twitter

Late last year, Tesla announced the Roadster 3.0, an update for Tesla’s first model that will include a new 70KWh battery pack. The new pack combined with an upgraded body is expected to allow for a range close to 400 miles.

Details about the timeframe for this update were unclear until now. Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, confirmed via Twitter that the update should be available to Roadster owners in August this year after safety validation in July.

Details of Tesla’s agreement with SolarCity on stationary batteries emerge from Tesla’s recent SEC filings

Earlier today, Tesla filed their notice with the SEC for their 2015 annual shareholders meeting to be held on June 9th. In these filings, Tesla is required to review transactions with related parties. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, is Chairman and an important shareholder of SolarCity. Therefore Tesla needs to publicly acknowledge transactions between the two companies.

Tesla recently confirmed in an email to investors that their announcement on April 30th will indeed be a home battery system and an energy storage system for utilities. It has been known for a while that Tesla was testing these home battery systems through SolarCity. In the same filings last year, the company confirmed approximately $1.6 million in revenue from SolarCity during fiscal year 2013 for the sales of stationary batteries.

Today, Tesla confirmed that the revenue from SolarCity for stationary batteries went up to $2.7 million for the fiscal year 2014.

According to Rod Lache from Deutsche Bank, if SolarCity were to reach their goal of 1 million customers by 2018 and if Tesla would equip half of their customers with home battery systems, Tesla could generate $1.5 billion of revenue through 2018 from SolarCity. Tesla made $3.2 billion in revenue last year.

Tesla announces that it will post its financial results for Q1 2015 after market close on May 6

PALO ALTO, CA–(Marketwired – Apr 22, 2015) – Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) announces that it will post its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2015, after market close on Wednesday, May 6, 2015. At that time, Tesla will issue a brief advisory release containing a link to the Q1 2015 Shareholder Letter, available on the company website. Tesla management will hold a live question & answer webcast at 2:30pm Pacific Time (5:30pm Eastern Time) to discuss the Company’s financial and business results and outlook.

What: Tesla Q1 2015 Financial Results and Q&A Webcast
When: Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Time: 2:30pm Pacific Time / 5:30pm Eastern Time
Shareholder Letter: http://ir.teslamotors.com
Webcast: http://ir.teslamotors.com (live and replay)

Approximately two hours after the Q&A session, an archived version of the webcast will be available on the Company’s website.

Elon Musk almost sold Tesla to Google in 2013, before Model S sales started picking up

This tale from the upcoming book Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, due out May 19 from Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins seems a little far fetched (via Bloomberg).

In the first week of March 2013, Musk reached out to Page, say the two people familiar with the talks. By that point, so many customers were deferring orders that Musk had quietly shut down Tesla’s factory. Considering his straits, Musk drove a hard bargain. He proposed that Google buy Tesla outright — with a healthy premium, the company would have cost about $6 billion at the time — and pony up another $5 billion in capital for factory expansions. He also wanted guarantees that Google wouldn’t break up or shut down his company before it produced a third-generation electric car aimed at the mainstream auto market. He insisted that Page let him run a Google-owned Tesla for eight years, or until it began pumping out such a car. Page accepted the overall proposal and shook on the deal.

As an early buyer who had to wait almost 6 months to get my Model S, I don’t remember a time when the Model S wasn’t selling well. In fact for the $49,000 original price that I paid, I think the lines were “out the door” so to speak so I’m not sure how true this all is.

Many of Tesla’s new battery announcement details hidden in plain site

Screenshot 2015-04-17 13.25.25

Tesla is going to make a home battery announcement on April 30th. It will be a big deal. But it isn’t hard to find some of the details on the batteries Tesla is going to offer. Analysts, like above^ are claiming to have “secret info” on the announcement: Tesla secretly tested its battery solution with 300 customers.

But that info and much more is available on Solar City’s website. In fact, Tesla’s Home Batteries including pictures and lots of details are all  hidden in plain sight:

Tesla-battery

Tesla also gave plenty of details on their earnings call in February where Musk talked about releasing a consumer battery project:

Yes, we’re going to do — we’re going to unveil some of the Tesla home battery consumer battery that will be for you using and people’s houses or businesses, fairly soon. We have to design and it should start going into production probably about six months or so. We’ll probably got to wait to have sort of product availing it’s probably in the next month or two. It’s really great. I’m really excited about it.

If you’ve talked to Solar City, they may have provided you with the specs of Tesla’s prototype battery:

Tesla-home-battery

Tesla will certainly announce some new innovations that perhaps differentiate them from other batteries. Being able to Supercharge your Model S at home would be nice. Perhaps a Webb/App controller with some novel uses would be good.

I’d like to see it compared against home generators which cost a lot more, even before considering the savings against time of use metering in power. We’ll be on hand on the 30th to see what is on offer.