San Francisco (Bloomberg): Tesla Inc. delivered a second straight quarter of blowout earnings and speedy execution.
The record revenue carried the company to its fourth profit in the last six quarters. CEO Elon Musk again accelerated the introduction of the new Model Y crossover, saying deliveries will start by March, months earlier than initially planned.
The Model Y, which Musk predicts will outsell all other Teslas combined, was initially scheduled to launch this fall. The company has moved up that date in each of its last two quarterly reports.
“The Model Y timing is going to send the bulls falling off their chairs,” said Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities who rates Tesla the equivalent of a hold. “This is a game-changing inflection quarter because of the guidance on delivery and profit.”
Tesla soared as much as 14 per cent to almost $660 after the close of regular trading. The shares, which reclaimed the title of most-shorted American stock earlier this month, had already more than doubled since Musk reported a surprise profit in October and divulged the imminent opening of a new plant in China.
“The short story is eroding,” said Gene Munster, managing partner of the venture capital firm Loup Ventures. He credited Musk for becoming a “quiet assassin” and sees Tesla having a clearer path to profitability.
Musk has turned a corner from years of over-promising and under-delivering, vaulting Tesla past Volkswagen AG to become the second-most valuable automaker in the world, behind only Toyota Motor Corp. Investors have rewarded him for building a commanding lead over manufacturers that have been slow to embrace an electric future and abandon the more than century-old internal-combustion engine.
Proving all sceptics wrong
The 48-year-old billionaire has thus far disproved predictions that Tesla will struggle to compete with the impending arrival of electric vehicles from established automakers. The Model 3 was the only EV consumers bought in significant volumes last year in the US, and in Europe it was the third-best seller among all models in December.
The company projected it will deliver at least 500,000 vehicles this year, a more than 35 per cent jump from 2019.