Tesla has announced its earnings for the first quarter of the year, and while it managed to break two records, the EV manufacturer won’t be happy about one of them.
Elon Musk’s firm's revenue was higher than ever before, up 26 percent to $3.4 billion and beating analysts’ predictions of $3.142 billion. But it's not all good news, as the firm continues to lose money. Net losses for the quarter were a record $784.6 million or $4.19 per share. Analysts expected net losses of $3.26 per share.
The news saw Tesla ‘s shares plunge five percent in after-hours trading, wiping around $2.4 billion off the company’s value. They currently stand at $301, down from the record high of $389.61 back in September last year.
"If people are concerned about volatility, they should definitely not buy our stock," said Musk, who believes investors should be looking at the long term.
Tesla still believes it will be profitable in the second half of 2018, but only if it is able to reach a production target of 5000 Model 3 sedans each week—something it plans to reach within in two months. That sounds ambitious, considering the company managed to produce just 2,270 cars each week for three consecutive weeks in April. Eventually, it aims to output 10,000 Model 3s per week.
“Even at this stage of the ramp, Model 3 is already on the cusp of becoming the best-selling mid-sized premium sedan in the US, and our deliveries continue to increase,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk and CFO Deepak Ahuja wrote in a letter to investors. “Consumers have clearly shown that electric vehicles are simply more desirable when priced on par with their internal combustion engine competitors while offering better technology, performance and user experience.”
Tesla continues to face issues with its Model 3 manufacturing process. It temporarily suspended production in mid-April to “improve automation” and deal with bottlenecks on the assembly line, and it expects another ten days of downtime this quarter. Musk has admitted that an over-reliance on automation at Tesla was a mistake.
"We made a mistake by adding too much automation too quickly," he told investors yesterday.
Last week, it was revealed that one of the decisions that Tesla shareholders will vote on at their annual meeting in June is whether to retain Musk as Chairman of the Board.