Tesla Forecasts Profit...With a Big 'If'

May 2, 2018
Updated 4mo ago

By Alisha Haridasani

Tesla’s first-quarter earnings narrowly beat expectations Wednesday, bringing in $3.4 billion in revenue, up from about $3.3 billion in the previous quarter.

The car maker also posted a net loss of more than $780 million.

The news was positive for the electric carmaker in the areas that seemed to matter most to investors, said Jason Ware, the chief investment officer and chief economist at Albion Financial group. He cited the uptick in car production, specifically. "It seems that they've hit on all of the things that investors were looking for," Ware said in an interview with Cheddar.

The Model 3, Tesla's mass-market sedan was the main focus of the earnings report.

For months, the company was missing its own production targets for that car. The company produced just 1,000 units a week in December, below the company's target of 20,000 units per month. That worried investors that Tesla would run out of cash by the end of the year. (It is reported to be spending $6,500 per minute, according to Bloomberg). Tesla ended the first quarter with a cash balance of $2.7 billion, down by almost $1 billion from the previous quarter.

The company stated Wednesday that it expects to turn things around. In April, Tesla produced more than 2,000 units per week for three straight weeks, and the carmaker told shareholders it aims to more than double that number to 5,000 units per week in two months' time.

In their letter to shareholders, the chairman and CEO Elon Musk and Tesla's CFO Deepak Ahuja reiterated Musk's statement that the company could turn a profit by the end of the year.

But it would have to meet production goals for that happen, though, and the company has fallen well short of those in the past.

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