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7 Tesla (TSLA) Risks That Investors Can’t Ignore

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Give credit where it’s due. Tesla Inc. (TSLA, $300.84) CEO Elon Musk, through sheer willpower and persistence, has mainstreamed the idea of electric vehicles. EVs were a fringe project taken on by only a handful of organizations a few years ago; now, every major automaker has entered the EV market. Tesla, meanwhile, has become synonymous with this kind of car, and TSLA stock has firmly grabbed Wall Street’s attention.

But Tesla’s journey hasn’t always been pretty. Sometimes, it has been downright ugly. Musk has led Tesla to the EV fore … but also into operational challenges and publicity headaches. He often overpromises and underdelivers. He’s distracted by leading his other companies, Boring and SpaceX.

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Never even mind his penchant for getting Tesla ever deeper into debt, and his company’s extreme difficulties in turning a profit.

On the upside, Tesla’s earnings report on Wednesday, Aug. 1, hints that the company and Musk finally are moving in a healthier direction. In his quarterly comments to shareholders, Musk said that in the second half of this year, he expects Tesla “to become both sustainably profitable and cash flow positive.” Wall Street was encouraged, driving TSLA stock almost 10% higher before the next day’s trading commenced.

Here's a look at seven of Tesla’s potential pitfalls that deserve closer inspection. Just one of these issues could prove to be the company’s undoing. A more plausible outcome is that a combination of these impasses slowly chips away at Tesla’s current leadership of the electric vehicle market. If nothing else, even the most ardent bulls should be aware of these factors as potential risks.

SEE ALSO: The 50 Best Stocks of All Time

Data is as of Aug. 1, 2018.

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