Tesla Smashes Earnings And Revenue Expectations

Tesla reported adjusted earnings of $0.12 per share, This beat expectations of $0.03 per share.

Sales were up 83% from the last quarter, to $562 million.

This is Tesla’s first profitable quarter.

The stock is up over 13% in after hours.

Tesla reaching profitability so quickly provides proof that if you build vehicles that not only look great but are enjoyable to drive, consumers will purchase them,” said Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book in an email.

But he goes on to write that, “While Tesla has found success in the premium luxury segment, even surpassing sales volume of the more affordable Chevrolet Volt, they will run into the same difficulties faced by Chevrolet, Nissan, and others in trying to sell an electric vehicle to mainstream consumers that will find it more difficult to pay the premium prices associated with electric vehicles.”

The company expects to build over 5,000 model S units in Q1, and expects to build another 5,000 in Q2. It also expects 21,000 deliveries in 2013, up from 20,000.

Looking ahead Elon Musk said he plans to spend $200 million on capital expenditures in 2013.

Last month, Tesla founder Elon Musk introduced a new auto-financing scheme that would allow buyers to sell back their Tesla’s for some minimum price.

While Tesla’s sales target of 20,000 vehicles this year may be achievable, The Wall Street Journal points out that the thing to watch for is what’s behind the company’s margin. They argue that much of the margin is driven by government subsidies and that it could vanish if the government changed its plans.

But tech tweeter @SammyWalrusIV reports that Elon Musk has hit back at the WSJ‘s claim. He cites Musk saying that the gross margin doesn’t assume zero emission vehicle (ZEV) credit revenue from the government.

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