Tesla Says May Seek New Funding, Days After US SEC Settlement

Shares of the electrical carmaker rose 1.8 per cent to $239.42 (approximately Rs. 16,700) in late trading.

Tesla said in a quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it expects cash generated from its company to be enough to fund its investments and pay down debt for the next 12 months, however it might decide to increase debt to fund growth.

Wall Street has been looking for more details following Musk last week “It’s probably about the right time” to raise capital. He was speaking after the firm submitted a $700 million loss for the first quarter.

Many analysts had predicted that the company would need to raise funds for its growth, including the Shanghai factory, the upcoming Model Y SUV along with other projects.

Musk’s agreement with the SEC on Friday places back the focus on execution as Tesla tries to ramp up production of its main car, the Model 3 car, and make a profit at the same time.

So far, Tesla has increased funds through bank loans, many rounds of equity earnings, issued convertible notes, a $1.8 billion junk bond sale, securitization of its car leases and solar asset-backed notes.

The company’s preferred way of raising funds in public debt markets has been through convertible securities, with seven registered since 2013. These have allowed it to raise funds in a lower interest rate than plain-vanilla bonds since investors are eager to accept a lesser coupon for the prospect of converting the debt to equity.

Of Tesla’s three convertibles to have attained maturity up to now, however, only one has been converted into equity. The organization’s stock failed to get to the conversion cost for the other two, forcing it to repay the bondholders in cash.

The business paid off $920 million in debt earlier this season plus also a $566 million repayment is due in November.

“It is all speculation but beyond the equity and bond markets Tesla can do an immediate cash investment from an investor like a large private equity company or a firm like SoftBank,” Morningstar analyst David Whiston said.

He said the firm is much more likely to only issue equity, adding that”the share count is so small relative to big automakers and the money raise would facilitate any investor anxiety the industry probably wouldn’t punish the dilution, if at all”.

Tesla is rated six notches to noninvestment grade, or junk bond, territory by both Moody’s Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings. Both rating agencies have a negative outlook on the firm’s debt.

“If it was only straight debt they would have to pay a higher interest rate. But convertible investors are ready to cover some potential future upside in the equity,” Geoffrey Dancey, managing partner and portfolio manager at Cutler Capital Management said after Musk’s remarks on Wednesday.

“Tesla, of all businesses, sells the narrative of their upside.”

The company expects capital expenditures of $2 billion to $2.5 billion annually and roughly $2.5 billion to $3 billion annually for the next two financial years, a spokesperson told Reuters.

Its spread, or the premium investors need for the extra probability of holding Tesla debt rather than a safer US Treasury security, widened by approximately 15 basis points to some near-record 611 basis points.

Tesla has previously talked about raising funds through alternative resources, but curiosity has spiked following Musk’s opinions on raising funding.


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