Tesla on Tuesday announced earnings for the fourth quarter that beat analyst estimates. The company posted revenue of $8.77 billion, compared to the analyst expectation of $8.26 billion, and earnings per share of 76 cents, compared to the predicted number of 55 cents, per Yahoo Finance.
The company posted its fifth consecutive quarter of profitability, posting a profit of $809 million. The company touted the recent Battery Day, a buildout of three new factories on three different continents, and what it proclaimed as “record vehicle delivers, profitability and free cash flow.”
The revenue growth, per the company, was achieved mostly through “substantial growth in vehicle deliveries as well as growth in other parts of the business,” while the company’s Average Selling Price (ASP) declined slightly from the third quarter of last year. This is because, per Tesla’s financial summary, a product mix that “continues to shift from Model S and Model X to the more affordable Model 3 and Model Y.”
Tesla had reported revenue of over $6 billion in the second quarter. Shortly thereafter, the company confirmed that its next Gigafactory would be built in the Austin, Texas, area. During the fourth quarter, the company announced a five-for-one stock split.
Tesla, earlier in October, had announced that it delivered 139,300 vehicles in the third quarter, a 40 percent increase over the same period the year before.
“During this next phase, we are implementing more ambitious architectural changes to our products and factories to improve manufacturing cost and efficiency,” the company said in its investor letter.
“We are also expanding our scope of manufacturing to include additional areas of insourcing. At Tesla Battery Day, we announced our plans to manufacture battery cells in-house to aid in our rapid expansion plan. We believe our new 4680 cells are an important step forward to reduce cost and improve capital efficiency, while improving performance.”
Tesla said in its earnings letter that its Autopilot team its working on “a fundamental architectural rewrite of our neural networks and control algorithms [which] will allow the remaining driving features to be released.” And the company will have capacity to deliver 500,000 vehicles this year, and that the company has sufficient liquidity to “fund our product roadmap, long-term capacity expansion, and other expenses.”
The company added that “we continue to see growing interest in our cars, storage and solar products and remain focused on cost-efficiency while growing capacity as quickly as possible.”
At the end of August, a Russian national was indicted on charges that he offered a Tesla employee $1 million for his participation in a scheme to infect Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory with malware. The employee immediately went to the company and cooperated with the FBI investigation.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver. Image: Reuters