Well that was unexpected — Tesla reported today in its third-quarter that it had earnings of 74 cents per share, compared to Wall Street’s expectations of a loss of 54 cents per share.
In other words: Tesla said it actually made a profit this quarter on a GAAP basis. Tesla shares quickly jumped around 5.5 percent following the company posting a rare profit for the quarter.
“Furthermore, we expect this to continue into Q4 and project positive GAAP net income (excluding non-cash stock-based compensation) despite [Zero-emission vehicle] credit sales in Q4 likely being negligible,” the company said in a statement. “We set new records for vehicle production, deliveries and revenue, which led to GAAP profitability and positive free cash flow (cash flows from operations less capital expenditures). At the same time, GAAP total automotive gross margin and gross profit per car increased substantially.”
Tesla still said it planned to ship around 50,000 vehicles for the second half of the year, with 25,000 planned shipments for the fourth quarter this year. The company also said it still plans to be on track to deliver 500,000 vehicles in 2018. The company had originally targeted that shipment goal by 2020, but it bumped it up earlier this year accompanying an earnings report and a large number of pre-orders for the Model S.
Throughout the year, Tesla has made a lot of aggressive moves, including working to expand its self-driving car efforts, and ramping up its car shipments. Earlier this month, Tesla reported that it shipped 24,500 cars in the third quarter. Tesla actually revised that estimate slightly upward by around 300 cars.
Tesla is still in a tricky position as it works to push through its acquisition of SolarCity and deals with some delays in satisfying the full demand for the Model 3 — which recently started listing with shipment in 2018. It’s also trying to increase spending to ramp up production of the Model 3 and Model X, and earlier this year sold around $2 billion in shares to satisfy that spending.
Tesla shareholders will vote on the SolarCity acquisition on November 17. Tesla said it brought in $2.3 billion in revenue, compared to Wall Street’s estimates of $1.98 billion.