A lack of real earnings. Irrelevant.
Concerns over the quality non-GAAP earnings. Irrelevant.
Falling sales growth? Oh, please -- I-r-r-e-l-e-v-a-n-t!
Here's all that matters right now: Tesla makes beautiful cars. They're as common, in my part of San Diego, as the Fiat 500. (Honestly, they're the two most diametrically opposed yet distinctive cars on the road right now). CEO and founder Elon Musk could charm his way out of a ditch. Optically, it's a wonderful American success story -- the kind of story Wall Street loves to love and, because of its well-into-the-future valuation, shorts love to hate.
Reality: Even with my pal and colleague Doug Kass telling his Real Money readers today why he shorted more Tesla today, I couldn't put a red, green or yellow flag on the company in my Reality Check because: A) It has already left deep tire tracks on the backs of those who have dared to bet against it and B) It remains a high-wire walk act for all of those who bet with it. The valuation, by any standard, is nuts - but we know how that argument goes.
But this obvious reminder - any pothole along the way will do more than bend a few rims, especially when it's traveling on the autobahn.
-- Written by Herb Greenberg in San Diego