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LIVE BLOG: Tesla Q1 2024 earnings call

Credit: Tesla

Tesla’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) Q1 2024 earnings call comes on the heels of the company’s Q1 2024 Update Letter, which was released after the closing bell on Wednesday, April 23, 2024. 

Tesla posted total revenues of $21.3 billion, with automotive revenues at $17.3 billion for the first quarter of 2024. The company also posted non-GAAP earnings per share of $0.45 and GAAP EPS of $0.34 for Q1 2024. Tesla also posted $1.2 billion GAAP operating income in Q1, $1.1 billion GAAP net income in Q1, and $1.5 billion non-GAAP net income in Q1.

The following are live updates from Tesla’s Q1 2024 earnings call. I will be updating this article in real-time, so please keep refreshing the page to view the latest updates on this story. The first entry starts at the bottom of the page.

17:35 CDT – Martin Viecha announces that he is also leaving the company after seven years in the company. He thanks the company and his peers in the Tesla executive team for the experience. Elon Musk also personally thanks Viecha for his contributions to the company.

17:31 CDT – Wolfe Research also asked about Tesla’s 4680 cells. Musk clarified that Tesla is now seeing a lot of competitive prices from its battery suppliers due to excess capacity. This was due to battery orders from other automakers declining dramatically. “There’s gonna be a boom and bust in battery supply,” Musk noted.

17:25 CDT – Collin Rusch from Oppenheimer asked about Tesla’s Robotaxi, as well as what is happening to the vehicle now. Tesla executives noted that while developing AI, the main question is what should Tesla do with “usable compute. The company’s vehicles are loaded with hardware designed for autonomous driving, so it only makes sense to use the vehicles for useful tasks.

Rusch’s follow-up question was focused on the 4680 ramp and how close Tesla is to its targets. Musk noted that it’s not super important in the near term, though the company estimates 4680 production will exceed the capacity of suppliers by the end of the year. The 4680 ramp is related to Cybertruck right now, as noted by Lars Moravy.

17:20 CDT – George Gianarikas from Canaccord asked about asked about FSD’s upcoming launch in China. “There are a bunch of markets we are not selling new cars and we are looking into accelerating that,” Musk said. He also noted that FSD works pretty well even without modification, so FSD’s rollout will likely be dependent on regulators. There are some subtleties that need to be worked on, of course, such as country-specific training for FSD.

The analyst asked a follow-up question about Q1 deliveries being impacted by supply constraints. Tesla executives noted that many factors affect deliveries, such as seasonality and macroeconomic pressure. Musk noted that he thinks Tesla’s Q2 will be better. He also admitted that Tesla’s vehicle purchasing process has become overcomplicated. Tesla will aim to optimize its buying process for it would be possible to “buying a car in under a minute.”

17:15 CDT – Mark Delaney from Goldman Sachs asked about FSD licensing and how far the potential business has progressed. Musk noted that Tesla just has to prove that its FSD solution is the right approach. Low cost, simple, and it just works. “It just needs to be obvious that our approach is the right approach,” Musk said.

The Tesla CFO also clarified that OEMs take a long time, so a deal that’s signed for FSD licensing today will probably show up in cars three years from now, and that’s if the OEM is eager. Other automakers simply take a lot of time to put certain advancements into their vehicles.

Delaney asked a follow-up about Tesla’s pricing. Musk noted that Tesla could be free cash flow positive meaningfully. Other executives also noted that Tesla is offsetting its prices by reducing costs.

17:10 CDT – Alex Potter from Piper Sandler noted that he agrees with Tesla’s focus on AI. He asked about Elon Musk’s desire to control 25% of Tesla, and if he has come up with a way to achieve that much voting control. Musk noted that no matter what, Tesla will solve autonomy. “Even if aliens kidnap me tomorrow, Tesla will solve autonomy,” Musk said, albeit a little slower. Elon Musk is more reticent with respect to Optimus, however. He feels that he needs to be able to make important decisions about a humanoid robot. Musk also mentioned that Tesla may buy back shares down the line.

The analyst asked a follow-up question, this time about Tesla’s recent workforce reductions. The CFO reiterated the company’s previous points that Tesla needs to be optimized for its next phase of growth. “Any tree that grows, it needs pruning. This is the pruning,” the executive said. “The future is really bright. We just need to get through this period to get there,” he said.

“We’re not giving up anything that is significant that I’m aware of,” Musk said. He also noted noted that Tesla had a long period of prosperity from 2019. “It is time to reorganize the company for the next phase of growth.”

17:05 CDT – Adam Jonas from Morgan Stanley asked about Telsa’s volume growth in 2024. Elon Musk noted that he believes Tesla will have higher sales this year compared to last year. The analyst asked a follow-up question about Chinese competitors, which could copy Tesla’s vehicles. Musk noted that he does not know what Tesla’s competitors can do, though he noted that Tesla is staying afloat in China. “I don’t know what our Chinese competitors can do,” he said.

Musk also reiterated a comment from ARK Invest, which argued that Tesla must not be valued as an AI company. “Cathie Wood said it best. Tesla is an AI company.” Musk also noted that those who value Tesla only as an automaker will not understand the company well. “We’re putting the ‘auto’ in automobile,” Musk said.

17:01 CDT – Analyst questions begin. First up is Tony Sacconaghi from Bernstein, who asked about Tesla’s product pipeline. Musk refused to answer. The analyst asked Musk if he intends to take a step back from Tesla considering his involvement with numerous companies. “Tesla constitutes the majority of my work time,” Musk said. “I’m gonna make sure that Tesla is very prosperous.”

17:00 CDT – A question is asked about Tesla’s affordable car. Lars Moravy reiterated Elon Musk’s previous comments. He notes that Tesla is updating its future lineup launches to get cheaper EVs to customers faster.

A question was asked about the Cybertruck ramp. Execs noted that while Cybertruck production has reached 1,000 per week, challenges remain. Elon Musk also confirmed that Tesla is in discussion with one automaker for FSD licensing. “We’re in conversation with one automaker,” Musk said.

When asked about the scaling of the Tesla Semi, executives noted that the vehicle’s facility in Reno, Nevada has started its construction. Tesla also expects Megapack run rate to hit 20 GWh to 40 GWh per year.

16:48 CDT – A question about FSD’s regulatory path is asked. Tesla notes that there are already a handful of states that are embracing autonomous vehicles. Musk noted that regulatory approvals should follow after it becomes undeniable that FSD is significantly safer than a human-driven car. For now, however, Musk noted that it is critical to provide conclusive data that autonomous cars are significantly safer than a human-driven car.

Musk also noted that “Tesla will be operating the fleet,” seemingly referring to the company’s Robotaxi network. He reiterates that the Tesla Robotaxi fleet will work like a combo of AirBnB and Uber.

Musk also noted that Tesla’s Hardware 5 should be in the company’s cars about the end of 2025. “Hardware 5 is pretty much designed and should be in cars by the end of next year,” he said.

Elon Musk and other Tesla executives notes that the company has models that provide insights on how FSD will perform in later iterations. Those models are not released to the public. Tesla execs also noted that the company is more focused on autonomy. The Target is 5-7 million cars with autonomy.

Credit: Tesla

16:44 CDT – Tesla investor questions begin. The first question is about 4680 production. Tesla noted that 4680 production increased 18-20% compared to Q4 2023.

Another question was asked about Optimus and if the robot is being used in current operations. Musk noted that Optimus is able to perform simple tasks, and Tesla will attempt to do an initial production for Optimus for internal use this year.

“We are able to do simple factory tasks in the lab,” he said, adding that the humanoid robot may start limited production for external customers by the end of next year. “Optimus will be more valuable than anything else combined… Tesla AI inference technology is vastly different than any other company,” Musk noted.

16:41 CDT – The Tesla CFO noted that the company did see a decline in revenues quarter over quarter, from 18.9% to 18.5%, though this was mostly due to seasonality and some microeconomics. He also noted that the costs of Model Y production in Austin and Berlin are closing in on Fremont’s costs. The executive also noted that Tesla is lowering prices and “attractive financing” on vehicles and subscriptions, which could help boost demand.

The CFO also noted that Tesla’s energy business continues to make meaningful progress. Margins for Tesla Energy hit a record 24.6%. “The future is extremely bright and the journey will be extremely rewarding,” he said.

16:36 CDT – Musk also reiterated the value of FSD V12 and its potential. He notes that Tesla’s $99 per month FSD subscription is a way for the company to make FSD more attainable to customers. He also stated that Tesla will be unveiling its purpose-built Robotaxi later this year, which he dubbed the “Cybercab.” Musk also mentioned that Tesla has roughly 35,000 H-100s.

“We’re really headed for an electric vehicle autonomous future. Gasoline cars will be like riding a horse and using a flip phone,” Musk said. He also thanked the Tesla team for their hard work.

16:31 CDT – Tesla VP of Investor Relations Martin Viecha opens the call. Elon Musk and a number of executives are present in the call.

Elon Musk makes his opening remarks with a recap of the first quarter. He admits that the EV adoption rate is under pressure, and other automakers are turning to hybrids. Tesla will not be doing this. He notes that the launch of Tesla’s new models is being expedited, which includes a more affordable car. The vehicles will use aspects of current and new platforms and be produced in the company’s existing production lines. The new vehicles should allow Tesla to reach 3 million vehicles of capacity.

16:26 CDT – Hello, everyone, and welcome to our live blog of Tesla’s first-quarter 2024 earnings call. While Tesla did not exactly meet analyst expectations, the company’s first-quarter results were positively received by shareholders. As of writing, Tesla shares are trading up 8.14% in Wednesdaays’ after-hours. It’s been a while since TSLA shares saw such movement.

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LIVE BLOG: Tesla Q1 2024 earnings call
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