Investor's Corner

Tesla Q4 Earnings Summary, Sees Profitability in 2016


Tesla had plenty of good news to announce in its Q4 earnings call today. First and foremost, the company experienced a $179 million positive core operational cash flow in Q4 and $44 million for the year. Despite a $1.5 billion investment into the Gigafactory, Tesla’s 2016 outlook sees the company generating positive net cash flow and achieve non-GAAP profitability for the full year.

Model S

Demand for the Model S remains strong despite record low gasoline prices. Tesla says its customers are more focused on superior performance, technology, safety, lower environmental impact, and style than they are on saving money on fuel costs.

After being jabbed quite hard by Consumer Reports over reliability issues last  year, Tesla reports its repair experience for cars built in 2015 was half what it was the prior year and one quarter what it was for cars manufactured in 2012.

Market share of Model S continues to expand into global markets. The company saw a 76% increase in global deliveries in Q4, making it the number one selling luxury sedan in the U.S, outselling comparably priced four-door sedans from Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Jaguar, and Porsche.

Even on our competitors’ home turf and in countries without government incentives to purchase electric vehicles, Model S is winning. For example, in Switzerland, Model S outsold the Mercedes Benz S-Class, the BMW 7- Series, the Porsche Panamera and the Audi A-8 combined for the full year, and also outsold the Mercedes Benz E-Class. In Germany in Q4, Model S outsold the Porsche Panamera. Finally, across all of Europe last year Model S outsold the Audi A8 and A7 combined and the BMW 7-Series and 6-Series combined.” Tesla Q4 Shareholder letter 

Model X

Model X reservations grew by 75% compared to 2015. After deliberately limiting Model X production in the fourth quarter to address quality control issues, the company says it plans to increase production of the Model X to approximately 1,000 units a week in Q2. Tesla began rolling out a test drive program for reservation holders recently and expects the Model X to start hitting the showroom floors this quarter.

Tesla Energy

Tesla Energy news is strongly positive as well. Production has been transferred to the Gigafactory, where manufacture for Powerwall and Powerpack is now up and running. The first residential and commercial installations in the US, Germany, and Australia have been completed.

The energy storage side of the business is already experiencing positive gross margins. The company believes its energy storage customers will become valuable potential new car purchasers as well.

Growth and Production

Tesla anticipates another year with 60 to 80% sales growth, and expects to deliver between 80,000 and 90,000 new cars in 2016. It foresees gross margins approaching 30% and a positive net cash flow from the second quarter onward.

Model 3

Following confirmation by the company that the Model 3 will sell for $35,000, Tesla has set a March 31 date for when it will release more information about the vehicle. It says the car is “on schedule” and the production will begin in late 2017.

We will update you further at the end of the press conference and conference call with analysts later today.

Tesla shares were up 14 percent in after-hours trading after closing at $143.67.

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