Slope of Hope Blog Posts

Slope initially began as a blog, so this is where most of the website’s content resides. Here we have tens of thousands of posts dating back over a decade. These are listed in reverse chronological order. Click on any category icon below to see posts tagged with that particular subject, or click on a word in the category cloud on the right side of the screen for more specific choices.

No China Growth Story For Tesla

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We remain short the biggest bubble in modern stock market history, Tesla Inc. (TSLA), which currently has a fully diluted market cap of approximately $429 billion, which is nearly 90% of those of Toyota, VW, GM, Daimler, BMW and Ford combined despite unprofitably selling fewer than 500,000 cars a year to their nearly 40 million. The core points of our Tesla short thesis are:

  • Tesla has no “moat” of any kind; i.e., nothing meaningfully proprietary in terms of electric car technology, while existing automakers—unlike Tesla­—have a decades-long “experience moat” of knowing how to mass-produce, distribute and service high-quality cars consistently and profitably, as well as the ability to subsidize losses on electric cars with profits from their conventional cars.
  • Excluding sunsetting emission credit sales, in 2020 Tesla will again lose money, as it has every year in its 17-year existence.
  • Unit demand for Tesla’s cars is only maintained via continual price cutting.
  • Elon Musk is a pathological liar who under the terms of his SEC settlement cannot deny having committed securities fraud.
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Flatten the Funhouse Mirrors

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Let’s suppose you were about to head outdoors, and you asked me the temperature so you could dress appropriately. “It’s thirty-two”, I tell you. So you slip on a thick coat, a scarf, and a hat, then you head outside.

After you shut the door behind you, the hot air hits you, and you immediately come back inside, furious with me, and change into something more comfortable. I was telling you the truth – – the temperature was, in fact, 32. Celsius. In other words, you should be wearing a short-sleeved Tommy Bahama top and not a thick coat.

Similarly, you might ask me what my father’s salary was when I was a kid. “Thirty-five thousand dollars.” Wow, pathetic, right? How did he support a family of six, and we lived in a nice house? Well, the salary I am telling you about was from decades ago, and it was pretty good money back then.

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The Meat Gets Beaten

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I have long puzzled over the enormous market cap of Beyond Meat, particularly since I never see anyone buying the stuff here in oh-so-hip Palo Alto. As I wrote back in July, “There was literally the entire inventory. Three lonely, squished packages tucked away in a forgotten corner of the refrigerated section. I suspect a month ago these three fellas were still in there. In any case, BYND seems to be sputtering. Based on little more than my three-second glance at my local Whole Foods, I’ve got a sneaking suspicion the $8.4 billion valuation of this company is a bit rich.

Judging from after-hours action, I guess its lack of popularity is catching up with the share price:

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