NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Tesla (TSLA) - Get Report is expected to report a loss per share that is flat with the same period last year and a decline in revenue for the 2016 third quarter after today's closing bell. But, the stock is still trading at $200 because the electric car company's supporters are like "members of a religious cult," former General Motors (GM) Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said on CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Wednesday morning.
"Just like Steve Jobs was worshipped at Apple (AAPL), it's the same way with [Tesla CEO] Elon Musk, who is seen as this new visionary god who promises this fantasmagorical future and utopia of profitability and volume. The only trouble is Steve Jobs delivered and Elon, god bless him, hasn't delivered a thing," Lutz said.
Tesla is experiencing increasingly negative cash flow and an increasing lack of profitability, Lutz pointed out. In addition, the acquisition of SolarCity (SCTY) for $2.6 billion in August is like "tying two sinking ships together for synergy," he said.
"I just don't see anything about Tesla that gives me any confidence that that business can survive," Lutz claimed.
Each time Tesla gets a $500 million "injection" of cash, it uses it up in two to three quarters because of its cash burn rate, he said.
"This is a problem that volume can't fix because if you are in a variable loss, that is you're not recovering labor and materials in your sale price, then doing twice as many or three times as many or four times as many doesn't help. The losses just get bigger and bigger," Lutz explained.
For Tesla's 2016 third quarter, analysts surveyed by FactSet are expecting a loss of 58 cents per share on revenue of $2.33 billion. For the same quarter last year, Tesla reported a loss of 58 cents per share on $1.24 billion in revenue.
Shares of Tesla were lower in mid-morning trading on Wednesday.
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Separately, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.
TheStreet Ratings team rates Tesla as a Sell with a ratings score of D+. This is driven by several weaknesses, which the team believes should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks the team covers.
You can view the full analysis from the report here: TSLA