Elon Musk Takes Potshots At Apple, And Other Key Takeaways From Tesla CEO's 'Possibly' Last Earnings Call

Tesla Inc TSLA reported second-quarter earnings per share of $1.45, which beat Wall Street estimates of 96 cents per share on Monday. Here are some key points from the company’s earnings call.

Musk Could Skip Future Calls: Tesla CEO Elon Musk may not be present in future earnings calls. 

“​​I will no longer default to doing earnings call,” said Musk at the second-quarter earnings call. 

“Obviously I’ll do the annual shareholder meeting, but I think that going forward I will most likely not be on earnings calls unless there’s something really important that I need to say.”

When Musk was asked if he could do interviews with YouTube fans, he said he can’t do “other work” if he is doing interviews.

In 2018, Musk had cut off two analysts after complaining that their questions were “not cool” and labeled them “boring, bonehead questions.”

“These questions are so dry. They're killing me,” Musk said at the time.

See Also: How To Buy Tesla (TSLA) Stock

Digs Into Apple — Twice: Musk took two digs at Apple Inc AAPL during the earnings call. Answering a question on the supply chain, Musk touched on the subject of cobalt, a material — used in batteries — that is linked to human rights abuses.

“Apple uses I think almost 100% cobalt in their batteries and cell phones and laptops, but Tesla uses no cobalt in the iron-phosphate packs, and almost none in the nickel-based chemistries,” said the Tesla CEO.

As per Musk, on a weighted-average basis, Tesla used 2% cobalt in comparison with Apple, which he said used 100%.

See Also: Tim Cook Says He Has 'Great Admiration And Respect' For Tesla As He Drops Hints On Apple Car

Musk also attacked Apple for its App Store approach, which is often described as a “walled garden.”

On the topic of competitors using Tesla’s charger network, Musk said, “I think we do want to emphasize that our goal is to support the advent of sustainable energy.”

“It is not to create a walled garden and use that to bludgeon our competitors which is used by some companies.”

Musk then went on to make a coughing noise and said, “Apple.”

Running Low On Chips: The global chip shortage is affecting Tesla, admitted Musk. He said, “A big struggle this quarter was the module that controls the airbags and seatbelts” — adding, “and obviously you cannot ship a car without those.”

Musk acknowledged that the chip shortage does not seem to be abating. However, Tesla was able to substitute alternative chips and rewrite the firmware in “a matter of weeks.”

“It’s not just a matter of swapping out a chip; you also have to rewrite the software,” said Musk at the call. 

In order to ramp up Semi and Cybertruck production, Tesla needs the chip shortage to go away, said Musk. Powerwall production has been hit by the chip shortage as well.

Price Action: On Monday, Tesla shares closed 2.21% higher in the regular session at $657.62 and rose almost 1% in the after-hours session to $664.16.

Read Next: Ford CEO Says Chip Shortage Has Changed 'Normal' Forever, Automaker To Keep Inventories Low Post-Crisis

Photo by Steve Jurvetson on Flickr

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