The criticism around Tesla selling emission credits proves that analysts don't understand the company's business (TSLA)

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Tesla has a business problem. Specifically, nobody who follows the company seems even remotely interested in figuring out which industry the carmaker is actually in.

The problem predictably resurfaced this week when, in its 10-Q filing with the SEC following underwhelming first-quarter earnings, Tesla reported that in addition to a relatively modest $15 million in zero-emission-credit (ZEV) sales, the company also sold about $200 million in non-ZEV credits.

Tesla Analyst Miffed by Credit Sales Missing From Musk’s Call,” read the Bloomberg headline atop a story that pointed out how Tesla had failed to note the non-ZEV credits, which might have originated through a deal with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to mitigate the latter’s emissions penalties in Europe, according to Toni Sacconaghi of Bernstein.

It’s fair to point out that Tesla and CEO Elon Musk didn’t say anything about the additional credits when the company reported earnings. The sale did knock a nearly $1-billion loss down to a mere $700 million. It’s unfair to attribute some nefarious motive to the fact of the sale, however.

Read more:Tesla is getting slammed for doing something that it would be stupid to avoid

As I’ve argued before, Tesla can sell emission credits, ZEV or non-ZEV,

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