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Stock investors say Tesla is worth more than $50 billion. Elon Musk thinks they might be stretching it.
"I do believe this market cap is higher than we have any right to deserve," he said in an interview with The Guardian, pointing out his company produces just 1% of GM’s total output. "We’re a money losing company."
"This is not some situation where, for example, we are just greedy capitalists who decided to skimp on safety in order to have more profits and dividends and that kind of thing," he continued. "It’s just a question of how much money we lose. And how do we survive? How do we not die and have everyone lose their jobs?"
This isn't the first time Musk has expressed this sentiment. He said nearly the exact same thing in October 2013 at the opening of a Tesla showroom in London.
However, in an April tweet, Musk defended the company's valuation over the longer term. Responding to claims that the stock was too pricy, he said "Tesla is absurdly overvalued if based on the past, but that's irrelevant. A stock price represents risk-adjusted future cash flows."
Tesla's stock price has been on a tear of late. It's surged 45% this year, reaching a record high on May 10.
Still, concerns linger around how much cash Tesla deploys. The company's stock fell 5% on May 4 after a report showing that it burned through $623 million of cash during the quarter. While that was down from nearly the $1 billion that the company used in Q4 2016, it was still the second-highest cash burn on record.