Elon Musk couldn’t stop himself from talking Twitter, even when no one really asked. In the Q&A portion of a call with Tesla shareholders on Wednesday, the billionaire said, unprompted, that he was looking forward to acquiring the social media company—despite the hefty bill.
“I am excited about the Twitter situation because obviously I know that product incredibly well, and I think that it’s an asset that’s sort of languished for a long time, but has incredible potential,” Musk opined. And his eagerness about the online platform is apparently enough keep him optimistic through the major acknowledgement that, “myself and the other investors are obviously overpaying for Twitter right now.” In Musk’s view, “the long-term potential for Twitter...is an order of magnitude greater than its current value.”
Musk has hinted (and tweeted) at vague plans to transform Twitter into his long-rumored “X,” or “everything app.” And in recent days the richest man on Earth’s meme-posting has framed the ongoing, embattled company acquisition as some sort of grand scheme to return “free speech” to the internet (along with Ye and Donald Trump).
Yet, for most of the past few months, Musk has seemed far from enthused about the Twitter deal. Almost immediately after making his offer back in April, the billionaire began to have cold feet. He accused Twitter of violating their purchase agreement, by lying about its bot numbers. A whistleblower got involved. Twitter sued.
It’s been a whole thing, and Musk’s more recent U-turn back to finalizing his platform purchase has seemed, at times, much more about avoiding further legal proceedings and testimony than anything else. Musk asked for the ongoing trial in Delaware Chancery Court to be halted, and his deposition canceled, as a term of the renewed offer. Twitter rejected that bid, but the case is on hold until October 28, to give the SpaceX CEO and the social media site time to complete a deal.
The Twitter-talk was just a small portion of a larger shareholder call to discuss third-quarter 2022 Tesla earnings. So, here is some of that news:
The electric carmaker reported a big profit at $3.3 billion, matching the record from this year’s first quarter and more than double the same time last year. Tesla is also is pumping out 50% more vehicles than it was last fall, manufacturing 365,923 cars this quarter. Fun fact: that number is actually about 22,000 more cars than the company delivered to customers (which Musk blamed on logistics and transport issues like “there weren’t enough trains [or] boats.”)
However, even Tesla’s big Q3 profit jump fell short of analyst expectations, and the company’s stock dropped about 7% as a result. Which isn’t super surprising given the way Musk talks about the company—throwing out lots of lofty promises that will likely be hard to live up to.
For instance, “I’m of the opinion that we can far exceed Apple’s current market cap. In fact, I see a potential path for Tesla to be worth more than Apple and Saudi Aramco combined,” the CEO said.
He also noted that, though his company’s cars won’t meet the benchmark of true full-self-driving this year (as previously promised), next year is a guarantee “without a question whatsoever.”
And, even though inflation and supply issues are raising Tesla’s prices and seem to be cutting into its forecast sales, Musk reported that he is convinced “we’ll have an epic end of year.”