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Elon Musk Admits to 'Conversations' With Apple About Tesla

February 20, 2014
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/231654

Yesterday morning, shares of electric car company Tesla Motors were trading up due to reports that founder and Chief Executive Elon Musk had met with executives from Apple's acquisitions team. By yesterday afternoon, as Tesla was reporting its fourth quarter earnings, Musk had confirmed those rumors.

"We had conversations with Apple," the billionaire entrepreneur said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. Musk did not say, however, whether those conversations were indeed about a possible acquisition.

When asked if Tesla is for sale, Musk responded: "I think that’s very unlikely. We need to stay super focused on … creating a compelling mass market electric car. And I’d be very concerned in any kind of acquisition scenario, whoever it is, that we'd become distracted from that task, which has been the driving goal of Tesla."

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Only once that goal is closer to being achieved will Tesla "entertain" those types of discussions, Musk added.

Meanwhile, Palo Alto, Calif.-based Tesla reported better-than-expected fourth quarter financial results, posting earnings of 33 cents a share on $761 million in revenue. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting earnings of 21 cents a share on $686 million in revenue.  Including items, Tesla reported a net loss of 13 cents a share. The company's cash on hand increased to $846 million.

During the fourth quarter, Tesla had a record 6,892 deliveries of its flagship Model S, which exceeded its target margin by 25 percent, the company said. It also hinted at a forthcoming project called the "Tesla Gigafactory" -- a partnership to more efficiently create the electric batteries used in Tesla vehicles.

Related: Despite Battery Fires, Tesla's Model S Lands the No. 1 Spot for Owner Satisfaction