Looking Ahead to Tesla’s 4th Quarter Earnings Report

Analysts and investors are looking for good news and lots of it Wednesday when Tesla has its Q4 earnings call.

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Tesla stock has taken a beating this year having dropped over 33% in the past few months. This comes after the company valuation has seen surging growth over the last two years due to the success of the Model S, and also in large measure because of Elon Musk’s consistently sunny pronouncements. But as oil prices tumble and news of slower than anticipated deliveries of its new Model X crossover SUV continues to swirl, Tesla will need to curb any doubt from the street by issuing a positive outlook in its upcoming Q4 earnings report.

Last week, industry gadfly Bob “Get off my lawn” Lutz told CNBC, “Tesla’s business model is upside down…their costs have always been higher than their revenue. They always have to get more capital, then they burn through it.”

Many people think Lutz is just a troglodyte from a bygone era, but his attitude is beginning to match that of the people on Wall Street. What will it take to turn things around for Tesla’s stock price? According to LearnBonds, the street is looking for four positive signs from the earnings call on Wednesday.


Among analysts interviewed by FactSet, the expectation is that Tesla will report earnings per share of $0.17. That is far ahead of the $0.13 adjusted loss from the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported losses for the past four consecutive quarters. Positive earnings would go a long way toward easing investors’ fears.


Expectations are that Tesla will report revenue of $1.84 billion for the 4th quarter, a 67% increase over Q4 revenue in 2014. If so, that will calm jittery nerves and give impetus to expectations that Tesla will have $2 billion in revenue in the second quarter of this year.


Investors want to hear good news about Tesla’s Gigafactory. Its success is crucial to the company’s upcoming affordable mass market Model 3. The street will want assurances that the Gigafactory is on schedule.

Production numbers

Last month it was widely reported that Tesla was suing a German parts maker for allegedly delaying production of the Model X after the vendor could not deliver on a promise to produce a compelling falcon wing door. Tesla claims that this led to delaying of the Model X. If this leads to any significant delays to its upcoming Model 3, that may signal a rocky road ahead for Tesla. Another thing analysts want to hear is that demand for the Model S is still strong and that the Model X is not poaching sales from its sedan sibling.

How will Tesla respond to all these concerns? Check back Wednesday as we report on updates from the Tesla’s Q4 earnings call.


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