Investor's Corner

Tesla’s Q2 Earnings Call and how it differs from 2020’s in a big way

Credit: Tesla

Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) is set to report Earnings for Q2 2021 later today. Just a year and four days after it revealed its financial performance for Q2 2020, its performance during the second quarter of this year is vastly different from that of last year. With an emerging need for the company’s vehicles and energy products, along with the potential to extend its quarterly profitability streak to eight consecutive quarters, let’s take a look at how the two quarters have differed and what is expected from analysts on the day of the call.

Q2 2020 vs. Q2 2021

Tesla’s Q2 2020 remains one of the biggest “what-ifs” in Tesla’s short and storied history. While the company was riding a wave of momentum due to its three straight reported quarters of profitability, speculation persisted that Tesla might have had issues extending this streak in Q2 ’20. It was a simple enough reason as well. The COVID-19 pandemic was ripping through the world, and Tesla, despite its apparent immunization when it comes to the global semiconductor shortage, was prone to uncertainty at its manufacturing plants that spanned from Buffalo to Shanghai.

The pandemic shut down the company’s main production facility in Fremont for most of the quarter. It affected the company’s trending growth of production throughout its vehicle manufacturing facilities, and Tesla reported lower production figures than in Q1 2020, dropping from 102,627 to 88,272. Deliveries, however, increased from 88,400 to 90,650.

Tesla navigated a difficult Q2 with better-than-anticipated numbers, beating Wall Street expectations with $6.036 billion in revenue, eclipsing Wall Street estimates of $5.146 billion.

In terms of deliveries and production figures, Tesla continued growth, rising from 180,338 production and 184,800 deliveries in Q1 2021 to 206,421 and 201,250 in Q2. These numbers were attributed to the mass-market Model 3 and Model Y, accounting for an overwhelming percentage of each category for each of 2021’s quarters so far. The Model S and Model X were not being produced during Q1, and deliveries of the Model S Plaid started in Q2. The Model X delivery timeline has not been detailed, but Tesla’s website states the vehicle is set to begin deliveries in January-February 2022.

Situations were vastly different from Q2 ’20 to Q2 ’21. Last year’s second quarter was widely up in the air on what Tesla would report. Its ability to hit profitability once again wasn’t much of a shock to Tesla bulls, but others were impressed by the continuing growth story despite tough economic times. The Q2 showing may have contributed to the automaker’s stock soaring into the stratosphere. Already on an upward trend, the stock would continue to increase in value, peaking out at $900.40.

What analysts are saying on the day of Tesla Earnings

Analysts have already put forth their expectations for Tesla’s Earnings Call later today, but some are still putting in their last two cents as market close comes closer.

Tesla investor and former critic Jim Cramer stated earlier today that he expects CEO Elon Musk to talk about competition and the upcoming release of the Tesla Cybertruck. Cramer sees Tesla’s imminent entrance into the pickup market as the company’s introduction to disrupting Ford’s domination of the U.S. passenger truck sector.

“What he [Elon] has to deal with for the first time is competition,” Cramer said. “Let’s see what he does with the challenge of others,” he added, sprinkling in details about Lucid’s introduction to the New York Stock Exchange earlier today.

Oppenheimer’s Colin Rusch, interestingly, said that the firm isn’t “super concerned about results this quarter.” Instead, Oppenheimer will be paying close mind to Tesla’s updates of the ongoing construction projects in Austin, Texas, and Germany at Giga Berlin, along with the progress of Full Self-Driving. “From a technology perspective, the progress on autonomy is really the heart of the matter if you’re making a bullish bet here,” Rusch said to Yahoo Finance.

Tesla recently announced that it would offer a $200 per month subscription version of the $10,000 Full Self-Driving suite. Rusch said there is potential for between 10 and 20 million customers during the latter half of this decade. “You get to some pretty heavy numbers from a cash flow perspective, and I think that’s what’s going to be at stake here for the next couple years.”

$TSLA Performance on Earnings Day

At the time of writing, Tesla stock was up over 2.1%, or $13.60, trading at around $656.88. The stock was up over 3% earlier in the day. The anticipation for an extended profitability streak and potential updates regarding the 4680 battery cell, Giga Texas, and the Cybertruck, may have contributed to the increase in price ahead of the call.

Tesla will report its Earnings for Q2 2021 tonight at 5:30 PM EST, 2:30 PM PST. Prior to the call, Tesla will issue its Q2 2021 Update Letter on the Investor Relations website.

Disclosure: Joey Klender is a TSLA Shareholder.

Tesla’s Q2 Earnings Call and how it differs from 2020’s in a big way
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