Tesla Rises as Public Editor Finds Story Flaws

(Corrects story published Feb. 19 to say the public editor of the New York Times in the first paragraph.)

Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA), the maker of electric vehicles led by billionaire Elon Musk, rose the most in more than three months after the public editor of the New York Times said there were flaws in a critical review of the battery- powered Model S sedan.

The shares rose 6 percent to $39.28 at the close in New York, the biggest one-day gain since Nov. 5. The Palo Alto, California-based company is to release fourth-quarter results tomorrow.

Musk said last week a story by Times reporter John M. Broder was “fake,’’ citing inaccurate details on speed, route, use of the heating system and for failing to properly charge the $101,000 car. Tesla released data from the test vehicle on Feb. 13 to back Musk’s statements.

“Did he use good judgment along the way? Not especially,” Margaret Sullivan, public editor for the Times, said yesterday in an online column, referring to the reporter. “In addition, Mr. Broder left himself open to valid criticism by taking what seem to be casual and imprecise notes along the journey, unaware that his every move was being monitored.”

The paper last week rebuffed Musk’s statements, saying Broder’s story was “fair and accurate.”

The flap between carmaker named for inventor Nikola Tesla and the flagship newspaper of New York Times Co. (NYT) came before Tesla reports Model S sales and results for the fourth quarter of 2012. Musk has set a goal of delivering 20,000 lithium-ion battery-powered sedans this year.

Excluding some items,the company may have lost 57 cents a share, the average of 12 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alan Ohnsman in Los Angeles at aohnsman@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jamie Butters at jbutters@bloomberg.net

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