As Tesla reports quarterly earnings, stock slams on the brakes, then floors it

The company delivered a bundle of good news in its quarterly shareholder’s letter, released on Wednesday

 

Tesla short sellers just can’t catch a break. Once again, the company delivered a bundle of good news in its quarterly shareholder’s letter, released on Wednesday. It has a healthy order book for the upcoming Model S, and intends to start deliveries ahead of schedule. It’s building powertrains for Toyota’s RAV4 EV, which launched this week, and will soon be building them for a new Mercedes EV. Meanwhile, folks are still buying up the last of the Roadsters. Oh, by the way, the company lost almost 90 million bucks, but that’s cool.

Tesla has “nearly completed all regulatory approvals and certifications required to begin delivery of Model S to our customers in the United States. Thus, we anticipate that initial deliveries will begin in June, ahead of our announced schedule of July.” The company has over 10,000 reservations for Model S (and 1,000 for the planned Model X), and is confident it will meet its target of 5,000 deliveries by the end of 2012.

The company “recently signed an agreement with Daimler to create an entire electric powertrain for a new Mercedes-Benz EV, thus formalizing the joint effort kicked off in Q4 last year. This program is expected to exceed in value the sum of all powertrain agreements signed in Tesla history. Producing at this expected volume will allow for economies of scale that give the resulting vehicle a cost of ownership that is on par with its gasoline equivalent.”

About that $89.9 million loss…it’s higher than last quarter’s, reflecting greater development and marketing costs associated with the upcoming Model S launch. But startups are expected to burn through money, and investors with weak stomachs know by now to steer well clear of Tesla stock (Nasdaq: TSLA) – it plummeted over 10% before Wednesday’s announcement, then recovered all of that and more in Thursday’s trading. The company’s balance sheet is strong by startup standards and, unlike some of the other companies that received DOE loans, it’s still in good standing with the agency. Tesla expects to become profitable in 2013.

 

Source: Tesla
Image: Tesla