DETROIT -- Tesla Motors (TSLA) Chief Executive Elon Musk dismissed fears the electric carmaker was in financial trouble and said it was making an advance payment on the federal loan used to make its Model S sedan.
Tesla, whose shares finished up 10 cents at $29.40 on Thursday, last week cut its full-year revenue forecast due to a slower-than-expected rollout of the Model S and said it was raising another $150 million through a share offering.
The Palo Alto company also disclosed last week that it had fully drawn down its $465 million U.S. Department of Energy loan facility, and the loan pact had been amended to delay repayment of a portion of the funds. The company agreed to make additional early payments starting next year and said it would work with DOE officials to develop an early repayment plan.
Republicans have criticized the Obama administration for the DOE's support of new-technology companies, citing the struggles of electric carmaker Fisker and electric battery maker A123 Systems, as well as the bankruptcy last fall of solar panel maker Solyndra.
During Wednesday night's presidential debate, Republican Mitt Romney grouped Tesla with Fisker and Solyndra, calling them "losers."
Musk, in a blog posted before the debate on Wednesday, said misconceptions had arisen from last week's disclosures by the company and he wanted to correct the media's "wrong impression" that Tesla was in financial trouble.
"We described a relatively pessimistic scenario for Tesla, which was incorrectly interpreted by some to be what we thought was the most likely scenario," he said. "We raised the funds (from the stock offering) simply for risk reduction."
He reiterated that Tesla was on the verge of becoming cash-flow positive by the end of November and said it would not have to spend any of the new money it had raised until it began a major new vehicle program.
Barclays said the focus for Tesla is on executing a successful rollout of the Model S.
"Tesla remains an execution story and thus, the emergence of data points that verify management is executing to plan - rather than specifics around its goals - are likely the key drivers for share appreciation," analysts Amir Rozwadowski and Brian Johnson wrote in a research note.