Investor Einhorn sees cash burn at Tesla, sticks with short bet

David Einhorn speaks at the Sohn Investment Conference in New York City, U.S. May 4, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

BOSTON (Reuters) - Billionaire investor David Einhorn, who has been hurt by his bet against Tesla Inc, said on Tuesday that the electric car maker is over-valued and that the company is not adequately capitalized.

“The company is expected to burn over $2 billion this year as it begins production of its Model 3,” Einhorn said on an earnings call for his reinsurance company Greenlight Capital Re. “It is currently only capitalized for the next three quarters,” he added.

Performance at Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital has been hurt by bets against high-flying stocks like Tesla, Inc and Athenahealth Inc which he calls his bubble basket stocks. But he is sticking with those short bets.

Tesla’s share price has surged 50 percent to $319.82 since January and Einhorn said the rise weighed on his fund’s performance between April and June.

This week Tesla’s share price has dropped after Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk warned that the company would face “manufacturing hell” as it ramps up production of its new mass-market Model 3 sedan.

In July Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital performed better when a 2.1 percent gain helped wipe away almost all losses for the year. On the call Einhorn discussed only second-quarter performance. During those three months the fund lost 4 percent, leaving the firm with a 2.8 percent loss in the first half.

Greenlight Capital, like most hedge funds, is trailing the broader stock market Standard & Poor’s index 11.6 percent gain in the first seven months of 2017.

Einhorn also said the fund lost money on its bets against Amazon and Athenahealth. But he is not making changes, saying “I like the composition of the portfolio.”

His winners during the quarter included a bet on Bayer AG where he said a planned $66 billion takeover of U.S. agrochemicals group Monsanto Co would be enhancing. Also a bet against oil exploration company Continental Resources Inc was a winner Einhorn said.

Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Lisa Shumaker