Tesla lost a lot more than expected in Q1, but the markets are shrugging it off

Tesla reported first-quarter earnings after the bell on Wednesday, and they were a big miss.

The company lost $US1.33 per share, substantially more than the $US0.82 analysts expected.

On the plus side, revenue beat expectations: $US2.70 billion versus $US2.61 one.

Tesla has rarely made money since its 2010 IPO, but that hasn’t stopped investors from bidding up the company’s market cap to $US51 billion — more than Ford’s, and on a par with General Motors’ market cap.

After closing down 2.5% on Wednesday, to $US310, Tesla shares were dropping only slightly after-hours, to $US308.

Depending on what CEO Elon Musk says when he talks with analysts on a conference call later, the stock could trend lower.

The quarterly loss was certainly large enough to justify investors rushing for the exits, especially after Tesla burned through over $US600 million in cash for the quarter (the company has said it will spend $US2 billion-2.5 billion for the year, so it’s on pace).

But the takeaway from another dismal quarter for earnings seems to be that Tesla’s statements about its plans to launch its mass-market Model 3 vehicle in July and ramp production to 10,000 cars per week by 2018 has given investors enough confidence to stay the course with the stock.

Get the latest Tesla stock price here.

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