Tesla Stock Takes A Beating From Goldman Sachs Analyst


It wasn’t that long ago that the Tesla Stock hit an all-time high of $280.98. Today, though, TSLA is cratering thanks to a warning about the stock from the Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Goldman Analyst David Tamberrino said that he’s unsure that Tesla will be able to bring the Model 3 to market on time. As of this writing, TSLA is down to around $245. Tamberrino says that he thinks it will be worth closer to $185-190 six months from now.

Tamberrino wrote that, “Ultimately we see a delayed launch [of the Model 3],” and that Tesla’s “operational execution is still unproven.” This despite Tesla’s clear statement last week that the Model 3 will start production on time this summer. Tesla said in its quarterly earnings statement that, “Model 3 on track for initial production in July, volume production by September.” In other words, we have a disagreement here because both can’t be right. Of course, given Tesla’s track record at releasing its electric vehicles on time, we’ll have to give the benefit of the doubt to Tamberrino. Of course, since Tesla has a history of launching new vehicles late, maybe the stock market already knew about this and has priced the stock accordingly.


Tamberrino’s other point (other than the lateness) is that Tesla will probably have to raise about $1.7 billion in shares in the third quarter in order to keep moving forward. He wrote that, “While we believe Tesla currently has a lead relative to OEM (original-equipment market) peers with respect to vehicle technology adoption, electric vehicle architecture, and (potentially) battery scale, our concerns are more near-term oriented with respect to operational execution on the Model 3 launch, an unproven solar business, and cash needs.”

Source: Automotive News, Bloomberg

Categories: Tesla

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72 Comments on "Tesla Stock Takes A Beating From Goldman Sachs Analyst"

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The key variable for if they need another cash infusion is how fast is Tesla’s Model 3 ramp in the fourth quarter. If they can get to 5,000 cars per week by the end of the year like they said, then they probably fine – 5,000 cars per week, assuming a very low initial gross margin of 15% (higher later as the manufacturing process gets better) is somewhere around 33M of cash flow per week (could be higher or lower depending on what you choose for ASP) on about 210M in sales.

If they’re stuck with all of this capital invested, but cant generate the cash from vehicle sales because they aren’t ramping as fast, then they’re going to need that extra capital to pay for their equipment, people, etc. while producing a trickle of cars.


The first cars go to Tesla employees. Don’t Tesla employees get a discount on the car?

no discount anthony according to Quora:

That is correct. Employees don’t get discounts, friends don’t get discounts, investors don’t get discounts, Musk doesn’t get discounts.

Nobody gets a discount for who they are.

Individual cars in “Inventory” can get discounts based upon miles/months in service. But those discounts are available equally and transparently to everybody, and the discount is based upon the car, and not who is buying it.

Current liabilities ($M) Accounts payable 1,861 Accrued and other current liabilities 1,211 Current portion of long-term debt and capital leases 1,151 TOTAL $4,223M Current assets ($M) Cash and cash equivalents 3,394 Restricted cash and marketable securities – current 106 Accounts receivable 500 Inventory 2,068 Prepaid expenses and other current assets 195 TOTAL $6,260 if they can get loans on non-cash assets That leaves $2,047M net. They can also borrow some more through their Asset-Backed Line of credit (ABL) and warehouse facilities. This from the 8k: “During the quarter, we added three new lender commitments under our asset-backed line and vehicle lease warehouse credit facility, increasing our credit agreements by $500 million, for a total of $1.80 billion in commitments. At quarter end, we had $1.36 billion drawn against these commitments.” On a good day they have $440M available to be borrowed. Total “ability to spend” $(2,047 + 440)M = $2,487M. Now estimate cash use: Cash (Used in) Q4 Operations: ($448M) Even if they improve GM a bit and sell some ZEV credits, OpEx (R&D + SG&A) hikes for the M3 development and planned sales efforts will result in at least ($450M) burn per quarter best case) That takes us to… Read more »

You’re saying they’ll be liquid, by 1.6bb at the end of Q2, yet also saying they won’t make it to the end of this quarter without the capital raise?

I don’t understand.

2170’s are already rolling off the line, as storage product. Goldman, whose big piece on substitutes, earlier this year, completely failed to bring up energy storage. I’m guessing Mr. Sachs made a similar omission when modeling his downgrade.

pj, that’s $1.6B left IF they are able to borrow money on the non-cash/cash equivalent assets (like loans against inventory or factoring receiveables, which would have payday loan interest rates). Based on cash and cash equivalents of $3.39B, they’re done far before any CapEx is spent. So, in keeping with nix’s lame joke, that ASSumes something nearly impossible. It also ASSumes zero additional cash usage by the SCTY entity, which is definitely impossible. Then at that point they need to spend capital at a rate of $2-$2.5B BEFORE the start of M3 production, and build inventory for about 5000 cars. So yes, they’ll be out of money without a raise (a raise which they’ll be able to do, BTW: I never said they couldn’t — it’ll just be a huge and expensive one). And, no, “2170’s” rolling off the line will have little meaning. Triple the rate of storage deliveries in from Q4 in Q1, triple it again in Q2, and triple it again in Q3. That would result in 300MWh in Q1, 900MWh in Q2, and 2.7GWh in Q3, or at an average sell price of $300/kWh (mixing residential and utility) $90M, $270M, and $810M respectively. Assume they mane… Read more »

Excellent post. Thank you.

Those numbers ASSume zero new revenue from the launch of the Solar Roof (mid-2017 in CA, moving east in Dec.)

In fact, all those numbers ASSume no increase in revenue at all from any source. Not from Power Wall II, not from increased Model S sales, not from increased Model X sales, not from Power Pack sales, nothing.

Wow! Weird.

No, the 47-50k Ms and Mx sales in iH are included. And the projection is kind to Storage sales since that business is currently a negative contributor to margin (fewer sales = less negative cash flow) But indeed no “power tile” sales because there won’t be any by the time cash burn demands a raise.

Look at your calendar and do some smart arithmetic using Tesla’s own filings. They need A LOT of money to spend even half of the projected capital by the end of Q2. They can choose, as the late Mr. Wheeler did, to throttle capital. But then for damned certain the first M3 gets delivered just in time for Halloween ’18.

Last Fall investors said Tesla would have to raise money this winter. Never happened.

It looks like Tesla used quite a bit of their $1.8 Billion in lines of credit they got last year instead.

Winter is not over yet. Just sayin’.

When the Tesla Market Cap was valued more than Nissan, I knew one or the other would soon switch back.

I think they will need to raise much more than the $1.7B – or risk going to the capital markets again in late 2017.

The Model3 and the Gigafactory plus other projects probably require $3-5B (wide range because nobody really understands SCTY finances and how quickly Tesla will shut down many units of Solarcity, including the brand name).

Let’s say $3.5-4B on the conservative side.

They’ll issue more stock first, they may still do as you suggest.

I think they won’t go much past $3B but we’re in close company.

Frankly, I was expecting Tesla to do another round of stock issuance immediately after the last quarterly report, especially since the stock was at that time at or very near its all-time high. Why didn’t they strike while the iron was hot?

Nix said something to the effect that Tesla now has access to easy financing, but no matter how “easy” it is, Tesla still has to pay interest on loans. I guess that shows the limitations of my understanding of finances, since I’m not a “financial guy”. I don’t understand why Tesla would rather borrow the money it needs for new capital investments, rather than issue new stock.

I don’t know if tftf is correct when he says Tesla needs billions to finance the ramp up in Model 3 production, but despite the fact that tftf rarely posts anything that’s actually true about Tesla, in this case I suspect his figure is somewhere in the ballpark of being correct. Mass producing automobiles is a capital-intensive business, and Tesla needs to ramp up to a production rate vastly greater than what they currently produce.

PP, you can just raise money whenever you like as a public company.

Two main reasons:

1) Required Filings (10-Q etc.)
2) Possible SEC investigations

Maybe the SEC is looking into some stuff.

Quote from a 2016 article on SA:

“While we are on the subject of SolarCity, Elon is risking a separate investigation into the whole merger and his personal stock transactions. It was recently learned that Elon held a discussion sometime in February [2016] where he suggested to cousin Lyndon Rive, SolarCity CEO, a merger. This was this three months before Tesla sold several million shares of stock, without any mention of a possible acquisition of SolarCity in the prospectus.

This information should have been detailed due to the additional dilution investors would face, along with additional business risk from acquiring a company that’s heavy in losses and cash burn. It gets even worse for Elon if it turns out that the merger discussion was before his February 12th purchase of almost 570,000 shares of SolarCity stock, as that could be considered insider trading.”


There are also rumors about another or related SEC investigation. See Probes in 2017:


(Very) hard to raise money if this is true / ongoing.

Quoting FUD from a Seeking Alpha post suggesting Tesla is risking an SEC investigation is utterly despicable, and is about as close to unapologetic, obvious stock “shorting” FUD as I’ve ever seen on InsideEVs.

It’s true: Tesla stock shorters have no shame whatsoever. And I don’t even think they do it because they see a return on their investment of time in driving down the stock prices; surely no one of them has ever affected the price by so much as a penny.

No, I think the FUDsters’ motive is primarily to poison meaningful discussion of Tesla; they’re trying to drive casual readers away from reading Tesla-related articles, because that fits their short-selling agenda.

Here is your link to Probes Reporter:


The guy has zero connection to SA.

The first sentence above should read:

“PP, you CAN’t just raise money whenever you like as a public company.”

PP, maybe you should read the links above in detail before rambling.

Pushy — Yes, Tesla indeed did get $1.8 Billion in credit lines they could easily tap into. However, they’ve used quite a bit of that credit line already according to the most recent SEC filings. So they no longer have that much easy to access money at their fingertips anymore.

Nix, I thank you for closely following this, so I don’t have to. I treasure my ignorance of financial matters. 😉

But seriously, why didn’t Tesla issue more stock right after the quarterly report, when the price was maxed out? Does that make sense to you?

The system for issuing new stocks is pretty much designed to keep companies from speculating in that way on their own share prices. They are not supposed to try and speculate on their own stock prices and try to issue new stocks at a peak price.

Otherwise, every company with a quick run-up would be tempted to simply dilute by issuing a bunch of stocks. Then when the share prices fell due to the dilution, they could do stock buy-backs at a lower price. That would essentially be speculating on their own stock price. And since companies posses and control all the inside information needed to speculate on their own share prices, that would be market manipulation.


Keep in mind that until a 1982 SEC rule change, stock buybacks were typically considered illegal market manipulation. But deregulation has allowed companies to legally manipulate their own stock prices by allowing companies to buy back their stock.

Companies aren’t supposed to be trying to time the market and speculate on their own share prices at the expense of shareholders. They are supposed to be maximizing shareholder value.

I hope that makes sense.

Thank you, Nix.

From what’s said in this article, it looks to me like Goldman Sachs is playing games with the stock price, possibly trying to drive it down so they can buy more at a cheaper price. Given all the stock manipulation schemes that big financial institutions got away with, leading up to the “great recession” — and so far as I know, many of those manipulation techniques are still legal — I presume that’s just everyday practice at many or most of the big Wall Street firms.

Again, that may be just me showing my limited knowledge of financial matters. But I do know that it’s possible to make money in both a bear market and a bull market. So the question someone asked upstream, about why Goldman Sachs would sandbag Tesla’s stock price when they are one of the usual underwriters when Tesla issues new stock… well, that question seems rather naive to me. I have no doubt there are several strategies whereby GS could benefit from a short-term drop in TSLA’s price.

The biggest problem with the ABL (other than the fact that only $440M reains available as of the 8k filing) is that none of it can be used in payment of SCTY obligations. Now obviously cash is fungible and if they had enough they could in effect “overdrive” the auto side from the ABL to permit ways to address SCTY cash demands. But that woulkd be a BUNCH of money.




” This despite Tesla’s clear statement last week that the Model 3 will start production on time this summer. Tesla said in its quarterly earnings statement that, “Model 3 on track for initial production in July, volume production by September.”

Elon also said that that start date is dependent on 100% of suppliers making their delivery date in July. And he also said the chances are not that good that all will make the July target.

So even Musk has admitted in essence that he will miss the July date.

Wall Street has 9 billion bet in short sale against Tesla, Goldman is the epítome of what is wrong with capitalism, pure greed and now they govern USA. So is in their interest to push Tesla to fail.

tesla stock is a very attractive short sale right now (i considered shorting it myself). i wouldn’t attribute that to any “conspiracy” against tesla by wall street.

A financial company like Goldman Sachs making a public statement “dissing” a stock the company is currently betting against isn’t a “conspiracy”. It’s how Wall Street operates every day.

And I think you know that better than I do, “no comment”, given all your Tesla bashing. So your comment is disingenuous, innit?

But hey, at least you finally admitted your interest in “shorting” Tesla stock.

P/P: No bias here in my perspective, but based on TSLA trends over $240 was definitely dicey territory, and if your best industrial and financial judgment tells you that (1) SCTY heritage business is a cash-sucking mess for months to come, and (2) the M3 will be six months late, then the negative cash trough is going to be too difficult to surmount without some really dilutive action. As the guy on the broker side and not the investment bank side he has to say this if it is his conclusion. And like it or don’t, even if your judgment doesn’t lead you to this scenario you must admit there is some finite chance attached to its occurence. Like GS’s perspective or not, when you look at TSLA shares’ “breathing pattern”, you have to take some pause about being long >$250 (please try to ignore the “hype” commentary and just observe the pattern): http://www.streetinsider.com/images/ckuploads/img/2017/02/27/Capture.JPG BTW, do I have faith in the Chinese Wall? No, I don’t. But this is how it is supposed to work. From at one time being a top 5 or 10 TSLA holder, GS was on 31 Dec carrying only 686k shares according to the latest… Read more »
realistic said: “…when you look at TSLA shares’ ‘breathing pattern’, you have to take some pause about being long >$250…” realistic, I think you overestimate my understanding of, or interest in, finances and stock market patterns. It’s true that I know something about the subject, having been a heavy contributor on the now-defunct TheEEStory forum, which had a lot of investor interest. Some financial information seeped into my mind via osmosis, as it were. It’s also true that I spent some months reading the Tesla-related articles and posts over on Seeking Alpha, but that was only because I took Sun Tzu’s advice to “know thy enemy”. When I say I treasure my ignorance of financial matters, I’m really not joking. I know only as much as I think I need to, to be able to spot and refute the FUD that’s all too often posted about Tesla. Now, I think your main point here is that the recent upward spike in TSLA price wasn’t sustainable, and that was also my guess, even though I’m someone who usually guesses wrong about the movement of stock price. Even I have noticed a pattern of TSLA stock price peaking just before a quarterly… Read more »

Agree, this is SOP for the banksters; it’s how they churn the market up and down; it should be illegal for an analyst to comment when their bank is invested in a stock; but, it’s not…so that what they do to move stocks down when they short the stock and visa versa. They been doing it for years…all you gotta do is keep paying off Congress to keep it legal..

My reply to MDEV doesn’t seem to show up?

It shows up below now.

Absloutely incorrect.

(1) Institutional owners like FMR, Blackrock, Price, etc (e.g., “Wall Street” types) hold about two-thirds of the shares (102M shares, +/-). Why would they torpedo the price?

(2) Wall Street companies underwrite Tesla’s Asset Backed Line of credit:
Deutsche Bank Securities (NY Branch)
J.P. Morgan Securities
Goldman Sachs Bank USA,
Morgan Stanley Senior Funding
and Bank of America (as joint lead arranger and bookrunner)

(3) Wall Street (GS, MS, BoA) have underwritten $Bs of bond and share issuances for TSLA

(4) Wall Street stood around and looked at their shoes, assisting in the issuance of $2.6B of TSLA stock to purchase the failing part of the Musk/Rive family bizniss

(5) Goldman Sachs has made $275M in personal loans to Musk

Since Tesla has a huge net negative operational cash flow over the life of the company, they have lived off of financing, and $B of it. Virtually ALL of it has been arranged by… after me now…

“Goldman is the epítome of what is wrong with capitalism, pure greed and now they govern USA. So is in their interest to push Tesla to fail.”

If you took some time and understood the mechanics it’s GS (and other large investment banks) who kept both Elon and Tesla going…

“Goldman analyst Patrick Archambault upgraded Tesla on May 18 — the same morning that Tesla launched its secondary stock offering. Goldman and Morgan Stanley were lead managers on the deal, and Goldman said at the time that the call was made independently of the underwriting team.”


Nice timing, no?`

And (if you access to the WSJ)


and earlier…

“Elon Musk Is Borrowing Another $150 Million From Goldman Sachs To Buy More Tesla Stock”


The more you know.

tftf, if I could delete my similar post I would. Didn’t see yours (I think we were typing near-simulataneously) and did not intend to plagiarize.

BTW, since you see this as I do, please know I admire your intellect.

That is somewhat disconcerting.

On Feb 16th, I said:
“Well, it’s just when I think a stock is overvalued and hitting near all time highs, I will either sell it or sell it short.”
Now I think cover some on the way down to $225, it may fall lower but that’s my fair value estimate.

no comment and I agreed on something, just for antiquity:

first of all, a 10% decrease in stock value from an all-time high is not “cratering”. you would expect a volatile stock to have some decline as it is no reasonable to expect a monotonic pattern of increases.

the forecast of tesla needing another cash infusion is not surprising. that should have already been “priced in” the stock value. in any event, you simply can’t draw any conclusions from a single day variation in stock value of 10%.

“TSLA is cratering…”

Seriously, “cratering”?!?!

The price is down to where it was about 5 weeks ago, before it made its recent climb to at or near its all-time high.

It’s a very volatile stock. Saying it’s “cratering” when it’s only dropped back to where it was just a few weeks ago, sounds suspiciously like an attempt at stock manipulation to me.

Dear InsideEVs: How about more articles on the subject at the top of your website: Electric cars. Especially, the engineering, performance, and market penetration in various parts of the world of those electric cars. And a lot fewer articles about finances and, especially, stock prices. There are websites for that. Hopefully InsideEVs ain’t gonna turn into another one of those. If I wanted to visit Motley Fool or some other stock investor site, I’d go there rather than InsideEVs.

Have to agree with the “cratering” comment.

For the people who are captive to headling sentiment and swooned over buy recommendations from sycopants like Ben Kallo at $275, it probably feels like “cratering”. But as P/P points out, $240-250 is high in the range and is more or less centered between Morgan’s Adam Jonas at $305 and the latest from Mr. Tamberrino.

Guess who is in talks to get many millions for underwriting coming multi-billion share sale, Morgan or Goldman? 😉

Maybe “cratering” isn’t the perfect word but in three trading days TSLA dropped from mid 270’s to mid 240’s. That is a swift drop and represents a loss of several billion dollars in market cap. I think the CFO stepping down after only 14 months has some investors spooked. That doesn’t look good and the timing is terrible.

It never ceases to amaze me when people post as if some executive leaving some company is a red flag. People change jobs all the time, for a variety of reasons, usually having absolutely nothing to do with how well (or poorly) the company is doing.

I honestly don’t get why people obsess over this. Now, if there were other indicators that Tesla was having financial difficulties, or if there was a wave of execs all leaving within a short period, then that would be worrying. But taken in isolation, one single top exec leaving Tesla shouldn’t excite concern.

And the shortest go wild!!!!

This is actually long overdue. The valuation they had was ridiculous. Hope they do well going forward but a ridiculous overvaluation is not good in the long run.

Disclaimer: I don’t own anything Tesla related 🙂

“long overdue”? As in back to where they were weeks ago? So you mean “weeks overdue”?

It’s interesting to note that all the talk is about the model 3. Tesla has already begun production of battery storage systems at their factory. What is the margin on those systems and how much to their bottom line does that storage business contribute? How many are they going to sell? Tesla is fast becoming larger than cars.

My personal opinion is that if Tesla is late with the Model 3 it is still going to be ok but I don’t think GS said that Tesla would plummet into oblivion if it was late with the Model 3 just that the stock price was higher than it should be.

“he things it will be worth closer to $185-190 six months from now.”

-proof read your own article @Sebastian Blanco

Good point. Thanks.


“… that Tesla will probably have to raise about $1.7 billion in shares in the third quarter in order to keep moving forward”

And again Tesla will be able to raise the capital without Goldsachs et al. IMO just a tit for tat report.

You can now take a rocket ride from Space X.

Goldman is almost certainly going to underwrite the new secondary, thought 270 or 280 was too high, and is cutting it down. Although Goldman makes a percentage, they need to move the merchandise to their clients.

“Tamberrino says that he thinks it will be worth closer to $185-190 six months from now.”

TSLA shares certainly could go back to where they were Dec. 1st. Then they may go back up to mid-Feb. highs in the 280’s. Then back down again. And back up yet again.

That’s been the pattern. Anybody who announces that it will go down will likely be correct at some point in the future.

What we haven’t seen, is the ability of any of these prognosticators to correctly predict TSLA shares going back up again.

They’ve been proven wrong over and over with claims that Tesla would shut their doors, that they would never build this car or that car all along Tesla’s history.

If anybody wants to tell you they know where TSLA shares are going, ask them to show you when they predicted TSLA hitting $280, and have them show you when they predicted 400,000 Model 3 reservations…

“Tesla’s stock is down again today; since last Wednesday Elon Musk’s net worth has fallen $1.1 billion.”

This is where leaving out facts distorts the truth. First off, Musk’s net worth is just back to where it was a few weeks ago. Second off, he has seen multiples of that amount in GAINS since Dec. 1st, and he is still up way more than down.

Another (Euro) industrial point of view

It is “teflon Tesla” anyway so who cares if it goes from 280 to 245 ? It should not have gone up to 280 to start with probably. This Tesla stock little weakness is probably caused by those who brought it to 280. The higher some bring this stock with no good/hard reasons the more likely it is to undergo value correction like we see now. Likely nothing but a very natural financial market reaction.

A very reasonable view.

Only uneducated retail investors bough TSLA at 280+ and they just learned a tough lesson in the past few days.

I hope nobody took Pushmi-Pullyu’s advice after the Q4 Earnings Report to buy Tesla stock, because according to him the earnings news was so good it would “almost certainly drive the price even higher tomorrow.” Apparently, Pu-Pu is one of those uneducated retail investors.

February 22, 2017 at 11:21 pm
“Dude, are you still trying to short Tesla’s stock, even when the price is quite close to its all-time high, and with this news coming out which will almost certainly drive the price even higher tomorrow?”


1. Anybody who buys or sells stock based on an anonymous Internet post, is an idiot. 2. Anybody who buys or sells stock based on the comments from someone who has repeatedly stated that he owns no stock, isn’t a “financial guy”, and who has also said that when he tries to predict the movement of the market, he’s nearly always wrong… is doubly an idiot, or worse. 3. Quoting from what I presume is an update added to the very article that I was commenting on in your link: “How did shares react to Q4 earnings and Model 3 news? Tesla traded up around $9 (3%) after the news was released, but mid-day trade the next day saw a drop of about$17 (6%)…” So you see, Sven, in this rare case I was right. Not that I’m taking any credit for prognostication. That wasn’t so much a prediction as an observation of a pattern. So, do us all a favor and stop pretending that this comes as a surprise to a repeated TSLA shorter such as yourself. You have a deeper interest in (and understanding of) Tesla’s finances than I do, as shown in your post here: http://insideevs.com/tesla-factory-tours-reveal-stunning-progress/#comment-811540 It’s… Read more »

Tesla allowed early Roadster owners to purchase TSLA at the “friends and family” initial IPO price when Tesla went public back in 2010. Tesla doubters back then said Tesla was offering Telsa Roadster owners a fool’s bargin. From that time several Tesla owners have continued to invested in TSLA…and each time since then when the stock gets a good knock-back by institutional “analysts” some of us take it as an opportunity to purchased a bit more TSLA. So hail to the Tesla doubters & shorters.

…an investment strategy that has worked great for some of us Tesla car owners…in no way here being advocated as prudent. I’m certain it’s sheer stupid luck on our part that the TSLA doubter analysts have thus far been proven wrong each time over time.

I am surprised no-one has pointed out that the all-time high is $291 intraday reached in September 4th 2014 (closing $286 on that day).

Not the “recent high” $287 that was reached intraday a couple of weeks ago (closing at $285).

Tesla Inc. and Elon Musk will not only survive it, but will show those ney sayers wrong, no reason not to be optimistic. And I as a stockholder could not care less. Buy TSLA shares and hold for eternity, that’s what I did. 🙂

Stocks will move regardless of analysts reports.

This is just typical Goldman S, creating FUD and getting the advantage on it
nothing less!
nothing more!

There’s just not enough information here to be convincing on whether Tesla will get the 3 done on time. Heck, I feel like the 3 will be late too but you’d be crazy to take my feelings and use them as stock hints. Without firm info there isn’t a a lot of reason to take this person much more seriously.

As to raising money I expect Tesla to issue convertible bonds. This will help not scare investors with the specter of dilution. They’ve done it before now seems like another good time.