Shares of Tesla (TSLA) - Get Report have held up surprisingly well in the trading days since the company's announcement on May 18 that it would sell nearly $2 billion in new stock. The company's charismatic CEO, Elon Musk, will have a chance later Tuesday to further calm any nerves in the market when the electric carmaker holds its annual meeting.
Tesla's shareholder meeting will be held after trading hours Tuesday at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., and will be live streamed on the company's Web site. Following shareholder votes on official business including reelection of two directors, Musk will make a short presentation and then take questions both from the live audience and from members of a popular Tesla user Web site.
As UBS analyst Colin Langan noted on Bloomberg television this morning, "very little news" tends to come from the Tesla annual meeting. Still, plenty will be tuning in. And Musk is unlikely to miss an opportunity to talk up the company's prospects.
Analysts have warned that there are a lack of catalysts ahead of Tesla's introduction of its mass-market Model 3, scheduled for late 2017, and plenty of risk that target could be missed. Musk has set an ambitious schedule that he admitted might not be achievable, so investors will want to listen for any update on the Model 3 timetable or the CEO's current comfort level with his self-imposed deadlines.
The company raised $1.4 billion to fund capex spending to ramp up Model 3 production, but depending on the sales strength of other Tesla models in the quarters to come more cash could be needed. Musk, during the company's first-quarter earnings call, hinted at the eventual secondary offering, and company watchers will be curious if there are any comments about upcoming capital expenditures or the potential need for additional cash.
There is also likely to be some talk about Tesla's $5 billion Gigafactory, a 130-acre battery production site being built in the Nevada desert. Reports surfaced over the weekend that Tesla has begun sending invitations for a July 29 grand opening event, and the company is going to need the factory to be up and running soon if it is going to get the Model 3 out the door in a timely fashion and at or near the planned $35,000 price point.
More broadly, there have been a growing number of debates in the past year about whether companies ranging from LG in South Korea to Volkswagen in Germany are developing new battery techniques and propulsion technologies that could leap frog over Tesla's lithium-ion battery technology. Musk has dismissed rival technologies before, famously calling hydrogen fuel cells "fool cells." But with the company now fully invested in the Gigafactory and its lithium battery, any commentary on what is going on in Nevada and how Musk feels about Tesla's technologies would be good fodder for investors.