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theSwift FCF Yield

Is Tesla Autopilot A Kamikaze?

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Tesla, Inc. and FinViz chart

Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) with its autopilot continues to crash into targets as if the AI was designed around a Kamikaze.

If the Tesla autopilot were just another design by Takata (the makers of the faulty airbag) there'd be a lawsuit, NHTSA finding, and bankruptcy. However, we continue to coddle the EV pioneer as if the king can do no harm.

Considering the low count of Tesla vehicles and the high rate of crashes; the odds of an accident are good, which is bad. The risk is like a daredevil's swagger. Tesla fans may want to reconsider their personal threshold and give themselves more credit. Their bravdo can actually sky dive, bungy jump of a bridge, and try snake handling.

Where is this prototype for the AI in Tesla's autopilot? Is it a Sci-Fi movie, a Frankenstein, a repurposed Kamikaze? Alas, it is just a radar-controlled cruise control with some additional optic choices. Some critics are raising awareness that autopilot should utilize lidar not radar. "It [lidar] uses pulsed laser beams to build up a 3D digital representation of the area. It can detect specific objects and calculate the distance to them as well as ‘seeing’ the edge of the road or white lines." - Car Magazine

One company in particular, LightPath Tech, manufactures a range of optics and is now focusing on lidar. For more on their Free Cash Flow go to - "The Swift FCF Yield: LightPath Technologies." LightPath Tech is a micro-cap stock that has some advantages in performance versus similar micro-caps. For more on the stock-pick analysis see - "LightPath Tech Focuses On Autonomous Vehicles."

Financial Visualizations (FinViz) Screening

There are four major auto manufacturers in the U.S.: Ford Motors (NYSE: F), General Motors (NYSE: GM), Tesla, and the lessor known Blue Bird Corp. (NASDAQ: BLBD). Aside from Blue Bird ($500M) these companies have over $40B in market capital.

FinViz does not tabulate the FCF Yield, but instead uses a metric called Price to Free Cash Flow or P/FCF. The FCF is likely taken from trailing twelve months (TTM) of data. The following is a quick comparison of P/FCF for the aforementioned stocks.

  1. Ford ................. 5.10
  2. Blue Bird ......... 39.96
  3. GM ................... negative
  4. Tesla ................ negative

Ford shows to have the better value with 5.10 P/FCF. At no surprise is Tesla with a negative figure, however GM is also a negative FCF company. Last analysis of Ford Motor's cash flow can be found here - "The Ford Mustang Is Forever."

The Swift Free Cash Flow (FCF) Yield

The past quarter/3mo mark for Tesla, Inc. showed an operating cash flow (OCF) loss of $784.6M and a capital expense (CapEx) of $655.6M. This left the company with negative FCF. There is no expectation for the company to become cash flow positive anytime soon. They are certainly trying to expand and constantly spending more in CapEx than what is made in sales.

With negative FCF there is the expected negative or non-existing FCF Yield when compared to market capital.

Tesla cash flow chart

Free Cash Flow is obtained by taking the value of the company's operating cash flow and subtracting from it the value of capital expenses. The yield is then formulated by dividing the result by either the market capital or enterprise value.


Disclosure: I/we have no positions in TSLA or Kamikazies and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I/we are long LPTH & F.

Visit DIY Stock Investor, the finance site regarding stock analysis. Follow DIYSI's founder and 5-star TipRanks expert, Travis Brown.