Investor's Corner

Tesla releases Q2 results: Sets quarterly production record

This is a quick cut of the main items from the shareholder letter outlining Tesla Q2 financial results:


  • Completed Model 3 design phase
  • Increased automotive gross margin on both Model S and Model X
  • Exited Q2 consistently producing nearly 2,000 vehicles/week
  • Production and demand on track to support 50,000 deliveries in 2H 2016
  • Merger agreement to acquire SolarCity signed, subject to shareholder vote


“In Q2, we delivered 14,402 new vehicles consisting of 9,764 Model S and 4,638 Model X, which was slightly higher than what we stated in our July announcement. Model S remains the market share leader in North America and Europe among all comparably priced four-door sedans, and Model X is quickly gaining ground against similarly priced SUVs in all regions.”

“We exited Q2 consistently producing nearly 2,000 vehicles per week and our total Q2 production of 18,345 vehicles constituted a new quarterly production record, up 18% from Q1 and up 43% from Q2 last year.”

These numbers are in line with the 14,370 new vehicles deliveries and the “just under 2,000 vehicles per week”  reported in the July 3rd release. So nothing new here.

One good number is that “production hours per vehicle also declined throughout the quarter for both cars”, indicating the ability to continue to produce more cars per hour.


“Gigafactory construction remains on target to support volume production of Model 3 in late 2017, and we recently accelerated construction to reach a rate of 35 GWh/year of cell production in 2018. This will allow us to meet the needs of our accelerated Model 3 production plan.”

Notice that the 35GWh/year of cell production is currently the total worldwide output.


“Our Q2 GAAP net loss was $293 million or a $2.09 loss per share on 140 million basic shares, while our non-GAAP net loss was $150 million, or a $1.06 loss per basic share. Both figures include a $0.05 per basic share loss related mostly to losses from foreign currency transactions.”

According to MarketWatch, “Analysts polled by FactSet [expected] Tesla to report an adjusted loss of 59 cents a share in the second quarter. […] Estimize, which crowdsources estimates from analysts, fund managers, and academics, expected Tesla to report a loss of 54 cents a share, based on 379 estimates.”.

Loss is higher than anticipated. This number scared a few traders that bid the stock lower to 217 in after hours trading, but the stock quickly retraced back to 228, higher than the daily close. For a company like Tesla, where the price is based on future expectations, the earning numbers are really not what counts.


Total Q2 GAAP revenue was $1.3 billion, while non-GAAP revenue was $1.6 billion for the quarter, up 31% from a year ago. Total Q2 gross margin was 21.6% on a GAAP basis and 20.8% on a non-GAAP basis.

Also according to MarketWatch, “FactSet analysts [were] expecting sales to reach $1.63 billion in the quarter, compared with $1.20 billion in the second quarter of 2015. […] Estimize [was] expecting sales of $1.55 billion.”

Revenue is pretty much matching expectations, and this will be seen positively by Wall Street.

Gross Margins

“Q2 Automotive gross margin was 23.1% on a GAAP basis. On a non-GAAP basis, gross margin excluding ZEV credits increased over 200 basis points from Q1 to 21.9%. We recognized an insignificant amount of ZEV credit revenue in Q2. The strong sequential gross margin increase was primarily due to improved manufacturing for Model X and favorable pricing for Model S. Our warranty accrual rates on new vehicles were generally consistent with Q1.”

Another good number that Wall Street likes a lot: increasing gross margins!

“We delivered fewer cars in Q2 than originally planned as a result of our steep production ramp, which resulted in almost half of Q2 production occurring in the final four weeks of the quarter. Given inflection points in the production ramp and firm shipping cutoffs, shifting production by even a short period of time had a disproportionate impact on the number of cars that were delivered by quarter end.”

This is also nothing new as it was originally disclosed in the July 3rd release.


“Q2 Services and other revenue was $88 million, up 15% from a year ago but down sequentially. The decline was primarily due to having fewer pre-owned cars to sell because of the need to use them to expand our service loaner fleet. Q2 Service and other gross margin was 2.5%, down from 4.7% in Q1, but generally in line with our expectations.”


“We are also accelerating store openings and plan to add a new retail location every four days on average during the remainder of Q3 and through Q4. We are adding stores in new population-dense markets like Taipei, Seoul, and Mexico City, while also adding stores in our most mature markets like California.”

That is about 45 new stores by the end of the year.


“Production and demand are on track to support deliveries of approximately 50,000 new Model S and Model X vehicles during the second half of 2016.”

Given the Q1 and Q2 reported deliveries, the 2016 deliveries are now slated to be around 79,000, pretty close to the bottom of the previously reported 80,000 to 90,000 range.

“Vehicle production efficiency is improving rapidly and we are now increasing our weekly production rate even further. Barring any further supply constraints, we plan to exit Q3 with a steady production rate of 2,200 vehicles per week, and plan to increase production to 2,400 vehicles per week in Q4.”

“Despite the disciplined pace of capital spending in the first half of this year, we still expect to invest about $2.25 billion in capital expenditures in 2016, in support of our accelerated production plan for Model 3.”

What is not there

Surprisingly there is nothing in the letter about the pending $2.6 billion SolarCity acquisition.

Full Q2 Results

From the Tesla Q2 Shareholder Letter.

Initial Market Reaction

$TSLA stock immediately dropped to $217 right after the close of regular market trading, but after about an hour of extended hours trading it was back to the previous daily close of $225.30, indicating that we should not expect much fireworks when the stock market reopens on Thursday.

Wall Street seems relieved that the weekly production numbers are in line with expectations, and that the corresponding “production ramp” is still in play.


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