The earnings report started optimistically enough, with Elon Muskforecasting an end to Tesla Inc.’s cash-burning days after blazing through another $1 billion last quarter. But by the end of Tesla’s first-quarter conference call, Musk was berating analysts for asking “boring” questions, the shares had plunged and any shred of predictability was out the window. Musk, 46, has built up a showman’s reputation as the founder and chief executive officer of Tesla, calling on true believers to help him overcome the “haters” who question his company’s ability to usher in an electric-vehicle age on an ambitious timetable. His performance Wednesday revealed his willingness to bite the hand that feeds, ridiculing representatives of Wall Street’s biggest banks who tried to pinpoint how he’d live up to his promises to build more Model 3 sedans and generate cash in the second half of the year. Musk cut off analysts’ queries about the company’s capital requirements and whether it was retaining Mode...

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