Elon Musk, whose efforts to take Tesla Inc. private ended with the U.S. bringing fraud charges, called the electric-car maker’s stock price “manic depressive” and said he still wishes the company were no longer public.

“I would prefer we were private, but unfortunately I think the ship, that ship, has sailed,” Musk said Wednesday on an earnings call, after Tesla reported a bigger-than-expected loss.

Tesla shares were little changed as of 6:40 p.m. in New York, after the close of regular trading. Earlier in the post-market session, the stock fell as much as 3.1 per cent and rose as much as 2.8 per cent.

Musk, 47, settled a securities fraud lawsuit brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last year without admitting wrongdoing. He agreed to relinquish the chairman role for three years and pay a US$20 million penalty.

--With assistance from Ed Ludlow and Dana Hull.