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Is Tesla Motors Really Under Investigation By The SEC?

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) may have an undisclosed investigation open with the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to Probes Reporter. However, analysts who are bullish on the automaker classify the report as just a rumor for now.

Tesla added to Probes Reporter’s watch list

Probes Reporter based its report on responses it receives to requests it files under the Freedom of Information Act with the SEC. The website states that it has added Tesla to its watch list and that it adds and removes companies from the list often based on the FOIA requests it files on a regular basis. Probes Reporter said it makes approximately 2,500 requests for information from the SEC every year.

The site also published reports about possible undisclosed SEC investigations on Gencorp Inc (NYSE:GY), The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX), Legg Mason Inc (NYSE:LM) and Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE:OSK). Probes Reporter said it publishes about a “possible probe” if the SEC discloses an exemption from law enforcement to deny access to a company’s records, reports Benzinga.

Tesla probe is a rumor: analysts

Many analysts who have been asked about the report from Probes Reporter are not yet worried about it, according to Benzinga. Analyst Ben Kallo of Baird called it a “rumor” when speaking with Benzinga and said he’s looking into the report.

Analyst Trip Chowdhry declined to comment on the report. Instead, he focused on the automaker’s negative working capital. He said it means Tesla’s customers “are paying much before they have to pay to the suppliers.” He added that the automaker is in a “very strong” position and that no other automakers have negative working capital.

Additionally, he said Tesla won’t ever have to raise money because demand is greater than supply.

Tesla may collaborate with BMW

Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed over the weekend that they have been speaking with Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (ETR:BMW) (FRA:BMW) about possibly collaborating on battery technology and charging stations. Musk also hinted at a possible collaboration related to BMW’s carbon fiber technology, calling the technology “interesting” and “relatively cost efficient.”

A green car expert told ValueWalk last week that we could see a BMW – Tesla partnership in connection with that carbon fiber technology, possibly to solve potential weight problems with the falcon wing doors planned for the Model X.

Kallo told Benzinga it’s likely that Tesla and BMW will partner on electric vehicle charging infrastructure, while Chowdhry told the website they will probably collaborate on battery technology. Chowdhry added that Tesla’s gigafactory would make it other automakers’ “go-to-source” for electric vehicle batteries.




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