Tesla stock falls after reporting its first profit in more than a year


Tesla Inc. on Wednesday reported a sixth-straight quarter of profit and delayed sales, but earnings fell short of Wall Street expectations and the stock fell 7% in after-hours trading.

Tesla TSLA,
-2.14%
Said it earned $ 270 million, or 24 cents a share, in the fourth quarter, compared to earnings of $ 105 million, or 11 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted for one-time items, the Silicon Valley carmaker earned a share of 80 cents.

The company said that revenue rose 46% to $ 10.74 billion from $ 7.38 billion a year earlier, resulting in a substantial increase in deliveries.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected adjusted earnings of $ 1.02 on sales of $ 10.2 billion.

The company said in a letter to shareholders that the average selling price of its vehicles fell by 11% year-on-year, as its mix continued to shift from its Model S and Model X vehicles to cheaper Model 3 and Model Y.

Tesla also declined to provide hard-number sales guidance. The company said it “simplified our approach to 2021 guidance” to focus on long-term goals.

Tesla plans to increase manufacturing capacity “as soon as possible” and exceeds a “multi-year horizon” that a 50% average annual increase in vehicle delivery is expected to hit its proxy for sales .

“In a few years we can accelerate, which we expect to happen in 2021,” it said.

A 50% increase this year would mean delivery of around 750,000 vehicles this year, slightly less than the 500,000 cars to be delivered in 2020, a year before the epidemic caused by factory stops and delays.

Analysts at the FactSet survey expect delivery of about 800,000 vehicles for this year.

The company said it is on track to work with in-house battery cells to start vehicle production at its Germany and Texas factories this year. It is on track to start selling its commercial truck, the Semi, by the end of the year.

Tesla shares have risen nearly 700% over the last 12 months, while with nearly 17% gain for the S&P 500 index SPX,
-2.57%.

Earlier this year, the stock went on its longest-running win.

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