Elon Musk, chief executive officer of Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) and Tesla Motors Inc., speaks at an event in Washington, D.C., U.S. (Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

Musk Says ‘Rude Awakening’ Awaits Bearish Goldman Sachs Analyst

(Bloomberg) -- Elon Musk sent a companywide email to Tesla Inc. employees pushing back against a Goldman Sachs analyst’s prediction that the carmaker will miss estimates with its crucial Model 3 sedan this quarter.

“They are in for a rude awakening :)” the chief executive officer wrote in the email Tuesday. He shared a link to a CNBC story that reported Goldman expected the company to deliver 22,000 Model 3s in the three months ending in June, short of what analyst David Tamberrino said was a consensus of 28,000.

Bloomberg News obtained a copy of Musk’s email and confirmed an employee at Tesla received it. Representatives for the company declined to comment. Goldman spokeswoman Leslie Shribman also declined to comment.

With less than a week to go in the quarter, Tesla is under enormous pressure to prove to investors that it can achieve and sustain higher levels of production. Musk, 46, told investors during Tesla’s June 5 annual shareholder meeting that the company was “quite likely” to achieve its target to build 5,000 of the sedans a week by the end of this month.

The email probably didn’t violate the Regulation Fair Disclosure, commonly known as Reg FD, which requires publicly traded companies to disclose material information to all investors at the same time, because it was an internal message to employees, said Peter Henning, a professor of law at Wayne State University and a former attorney at the SEC’s enforcement division.

“Musk knows the email is going to get out, but he’s singing from a consistent song sheet, which is ‘We’re doing great,’ Henning said by phone. “This is consistent with what Musk said at the shareholder’s meeting.”

Bloomberg’s Model 3 Tracker is currently estimating quarterly production of just over 27,000 units, though that’s subject to change as more data on Tesla’s end-of-quarter push comes in.

Tesla was little changed at $342.12 at 3:10 p.m. in New York. The shares have gained 10 percent this year.

Tesla’s sole auto assembly plant in Fremont, California, is running around the clock to meet the goal. The carmaker this month erected a massive tent the size of two football fields to house an additional assembly line for the Model 3 that has been captured by photographs and drone footage.

The company will release second quarter production and delivery figures in early July.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.