Re: Tesla Rolls Back Goal On Sedan Amid Loss
Tesla Drives Further Off The Track
Grant, Charley. Wall Street Journal, Eastern edition; New York, N.Y. [New York, N.Y]02 Nov 2017: B.14.
[Financial Analysis and Commentary]
Tesla's quest to live up to sky-high expectations looks tougher than ever.
The company reported third-quarter sales of $3 billion and an adjusted loss of $2.92 a share on Wednesday, falling short of analyst estimates. This looks worse when one considers that profit estimates already had dropped steadily. The consensus analyst forecast for the third quarter called for a profit of 80 cents a share last June.
Tesla burned through a record amount of cash during the period, some $1.4 billion. That is disconcerting, but investors' emphasis has been on the future with this company. Developments during the quarter make CEO Elon Musk's vision look more like a pipe dream. For starters, Tesla said it would build 10% less Model S and X vehicles in the fourth quarter than the third quarter, a worrying sign on future demand for its more expensive, higher margin products.
The outlook is even worse for the Model 3, the mass-market model that Tesla has struggled to build. It now expects to produce 5,000 a week by the first quarter of next year, another slippage in its timeline. And Tesla seemed to hint that some equipment to produce more Model 3s hasn't been installed, noting "it has always been our intention to implement that capacity addition after we have achieved a 5,000 per week run rate." Its ultimate target is twice as many.
Tesla shares are up sharply in 2017, but all those gains accrued early in the year. The euphoria surrounding that rally is wearing off, and with good reason.
Credit: By Charley Grant