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Tesla falls 3% as lack of new vehicle-delivery guidance offsets record profit and Bitcoin proceeds

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Elon Musk.


Tesla fell as much as 3% in Tuesday trades following the release of its first-quarter earnings report. The company exceeded analyst estimates and booked a record quarterly profit, in-part driven by the sale of regulatory credits and bitcoin.

But a lack of annual vehicle delivery guidance weighed on shares, as semiconductor shortages likely impaired Tesla’s longer-term visibility.

Here are the key numbers from the first-quarter earnings report:

Revenue: $10.39 billion, versus analyst estimates of $10.29 billion
Earnings per share:
$0.93 per share, versus analyst estimates of $0.79 per share
Vehicle Deliveries: 184,800

“Despite unforeseen global challenges, we outpaced many trends seen elsewhere in the industry as we significantly increased volumes, profitability and cash generation,” the company said in a press release.

The company did not provide 2021 guidance for its automotive production, but said it expects “50% average annual growth” on a multi-year outlook. In 2020, it was just short of its 500,000 deliveries goal. Musk added that he expects the Model Y to be the best selling car, outpacing Toyota’s Camry, in 2022.

Revenue from selling regulatory tax credits to other automakers, a significant catalyst for Tesla’s five previous consecutive profits, grew to $2.24 billion – or about one-fifth of overall revenues. That revenue is also pure profit.

Another sale made by Tesla that helped profitability was bitcoin. The company purchased about $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin in January, and sold $272 million of that stake in the first quarter. That sale booked a $101 million profit for the company. Tesla still held about $1.33 billion worth of bitcoin at the end of the quarter.

Commenting on Twitter on Monday, Musk said that Tesla’s sale of bitcoin was to show it’s a good alternative to cash, and that he isn’t selling his personal bitcon holdings.

Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said in a note on Tuesday that while Tesla bears will focus on the chip shortages impacting the company’s annual production, “we believe the reality is that demand is spiking globally for Tesla’s/EVs, the company’s flagship production build outs in Berlin and Austin appear right on schedule, and the company has a treasure chest and cash flow to fund future R&D/capex endeavors in this EV arms race for the next decade.”

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