Tesla Profits: Be Careful What You Wish For


Shares of Tesla rose as much as 3.8% in after-hours trading Wednesday following the electric auto maker's second-quarter earnings report that showed a greater loss than what Wall Street had expected, on better-than-anticipated revenues.

The company said it lost $4.22 per share as revenue grew 43pc.

Despite the higher loss, Tesla shareholders gave the company and its founder Elon Musk a pass, with Tesla's stock rising as much as 13% to $335.28 a share. Capital expenditure is expected to fall $900m to about $2.5bn this year and Tesla had $2.2bn in cash and equivalents. The loss more than doubled from the same quarter a year ago.

While Tesla hit the long-delayed target in June, the process put additional strain on the company, forcing it to spend millions to ramp up production.

The company's future rests on its ability to mass produce the Model 3 - its most economical vehicle - a task that has seen Tesla fail to meet numerous self-imposed deadlines for the all-important 5,000-cars-per-week metric, reduce the amount of automation it was relying on in its factory, and build an entire assembly line in a tent.

Tesla's v9.0 software update will include some playable classic Atari games as Easter eggs, CEO Elon Musk revealed on Twitter Wednesday.

"It's really kind of a mind-blowing leap forward", Mr Musk said on a call with financial analysts.

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Tesla's cash balance fell to $2.2 billion in June, from $2.7 billion in the first quarter. But Tesla's cash burn in the second quarter slowed.

Tesla gained 1.1% in trading Wednesday and down 5.8% since the beginning of 2018 before the earnings release.

The company claims it plans to produce 50,000 to 55,000 Model 3 sedans in the third quarter, an increase of 75 percent from the first quarter.

Tesla may also have more financing coming in soon, after all.

Now that Tesla pulled off that rate of output at the end of June, it's reviving the goal to make 10,000 a week sometime in 2019. In a letter Tuesday to clients, billionaire hedge-fund manager David Einhorn criticized Tesla's manufacturing sprint and questioned "whether customers will be happy with the quality of a auto rushed through production to prove a point to short sellers".

As Tesla looks to real profitability in the coming quarters and years, controlling costs is extremely crucial in the automotive business.

Einhorn, a short seller who had bet against Tesla's stock, also said he would not renew his own lease on a Model S, blaming touchscreen and window problems.