NEW YORK (Real Money) -- Everyone gets a warning, so consider this a warning.
I am talking about how tempting it is to put Tesla Motors (TSLA) Chief Executive Elon Musk on the Wall of Shame after that horrendous -- some would say ridiculous -- quarterly report and conference call Thursday night.
I have called Tesla a cult stock for ages, the definition of a cult stock meaning that its stock can't be valued by traditional metrics. To believe in Tesla, you had to believe that the car would be better than any other car in its class and that its CEO would execute on the electric technology and allow this company to grow from an automobile start-up to the world's most lucrative manufacturing company.
Musk dashed pretty much every aspect of the dream Thursday night. The company missed on sales, earnings, gross margins, cash flow -- negative $455 million-- and guidance.
It is burning money like crazy. It is spending money like crazy.
No way the balance sheet can support the investment needed. Meanwhile, the other guys, notably BMW and General Motors (GM) are catching up and offering very competitive models.
But that isn't why I think that Musk is courting a position on the Wall. It is Musk himself and what he said during the call and in his statement.
I will let his quotes hang himself.
First, why were sales weak? There were manufacturing problems that held the company back, and delivering the cars, he said "was physically impossible due to a combination of customers being on vacation, severe winter weather and shipping problems."
Hmm. Customers on vacation.