Finance Tesla spikes after Musk says it will be profitable this year (TSLA)

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The company lost $4 per share on its most recent earnings report.

Tesla stock price play

Tesla stock price

(Markets Insider)
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  • Tesla spiked as much as 3% Friday morning after CEO Elon Musk tweeted it would be profitable by Q3.
  • Many analysts, however, are still concerned about the company's cash burn.
  • Tesla lost more than $4 per share in its most recent earnings report.
  • Follow Tesla's stock price in real-time here.

Tesla will be profitable by the third quarter of 2018, Elon Musk said Friday, sending shares up more than 3% in early trading.

"Tesla will be profitable & cash flow+ in Q3 & Q4, so obv no need to raise money," he tweeted in response to The Economist's write up of a Jefferies report saying the company will need to raise north of $2.5 billion this year.

Tesla's cash flow problems have come into the spotlight in recent months amid plunging bond prices as the company continues to rack up debt.

In late March, Tesla's bonds plunged to an all-time low of 88 cents on the dollar in a marked shift in demand for the company's fixed-income offering. Demand had originally been so large that the coupon offering was raised from $1.5 billion to $1.8 billion.

In the fourth quarter of 2017, Tesla posted an adjusted loss of $3.04 per share, better than the$3.16 loss that Wall Street analysts had expected. The company promised it wouldn't need to raise more cash this year.

Jefferies, whose analysis Musk refuted on Twitter, isn't the only firm betting Tesla will need to raise more cash soon. Moody's analyst Bruce Clark downgraded the company's credit rating by one notch to B3 in March. By his calculation, the company will need to raise more than $2 billion to cover both its cash burn and the roughly $1.2 billion of debt coming due by 2019.

Tesla stock has also been hurt by investor reaction to a fatal Autopilot crash in California that killed the driver of a Model X. The company was removed from the investigation by the National Transportation Board after a dispute involving when to make information about the accident public.

The company's stock price has declined 12% since mid-March amid the sentiment shift for bonds, another missed delivery report, and the ongoing crash investigation.

Friday's gains bring the stock back above a key $300 resistance level that share have been flirting with for the past week.

Tesla is expected to report earnings on May 2.