Tesla cruises past estimates, reports electrifying quarter

Electric-car maker Tesla on Monday beat Wall Street expectations for second-quarter profit and revenue as record deliveries offset the impact of a prolonged global shortage of chips and raw materials.

Shares of the world’s most valuable automaker closed up 2.2 percent, at 657.62, and rose to 667.01 in extended trading.

The company said it expected to launch production this year of Model Y SUV in Texas and Germany, but would delay the launch of the Semi truck until 2022. Still, despite the pandemic and the supply chain crisis that have marred the auto industry, Tesla posted record deliveries during the quarter, thanks to sales of cheaper models including Model 3 sedans and Model Y crossovers.

The carmaker, led by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, said revenue jumped to $11.96 billion from $6.04 billion a year earlier, when its US factory was shut down for more than six weeks due to local lockdown orders aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus.

Red Tesla Model 3 displayed at a Shanghai auto show
The Model 3, seen here at a Shanghai auto show, enjoyed record deliveries in the most recent quarter.
Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Analysts had expected revenue of about $11.3 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Excluding items, Tesla posted a profit of $1.45 per share, easily topping analyst expectations for a profit of 98 cents per share.

Tesla said operating income increased mainly due to volume growth and cost reduction, which offset “additional supply chain costs, lower regulatory credit revenue” and other items including $23 million in losses on investment in cryptocurrency bitcoin.

Tesla’s profitability has often relied on selling regulatory credits to other automakers, but in the second quarter, Tesla was profitable without these credits for the first time since the end of 2019. Its GAAP net income was $1.14 billion in the second quarter. Revenue from the credits only totaled $354 million.

A Tesla steering wheel with self-driving technology
Tesla recently updated the beta version of its self-driving technology.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

“Tesla impressed with its numbers, as most of its revenue came from vehicle sales. Of the $10.2 billion in overall automotive revenue, only $354 million came from sales of regulatory credits. That’s the lowest amount in any of the previous four quarters,” Jesse Cohen, senior analyst at Investing.com, said.

Carmaker Stellantis expects to achieve its European carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions targets this year without environmental credits bought from Tesla.

Tesla stuck to its plan to increase vehicle deliveries by more than 50 percent this year, but added, “The rate of growth will depend on our equipment capacity, operational efficiency, and the capacity and stability of the supply chain.”

Tesla said it said it has delayed the launch of the Semi truck program to 2022, “to better focus on these factories, and due to the limited availability of battery cells and global supply chain challenges.”

Tesla has previously pushed back the expected opening of its first European factory from July to late 2021 amid fierce environmental resistance, red tape and planning tweaks.