6 key takeaways from Tesla’s Q1 report

By: Jayson Derrick
Jayson Derrick
Jayson lives in Montreal with his wife and daughter, loves watching hockey, and is on a lifelong quest to… read more.
on Apr 26, 2021
  • Tesla reported a top-and-bottom line beat in its Q1 results.
  • Revenue of $10.39 billion was up 74% year-over-year.
  • Tesla continues to ramp production across its global facilities.

Shares of Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) were trading lower by around 1.4% Monday afternoon after the electric automaker reported first quarter results. Here are the six key takeaways:

1. Financial performance

Tesla reported total revenue of $10.39 billion versus expectations of $10.29 billion. Earnings per share of 93 cents also beat expectations of 79 cents per share.

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The average selling price (ASP) per vehicle was lower by 13% year-over-year as China-made vehicles accounted for a larger percentage of total calls sold. On the other hand, total costs decreased at a faster rate, leading to a 95 basis point year-over-year improvement in auto gross margin at 26.5%.

Tesla reported a GAAP operating income of $594 million on an operating margin of 5.7%.

Tesla ended the first quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $17.1 billion. By comparison, the company ended the prior quarter with $19.4 billion in cash. Important to note Tesla completed a $5 billion capital raise at $632 per share and a free cash flow of $1.9 billion during the final quarter of 2020.

2. Deliveries

Tesla delivered 2,030 Model S and X vehicles in the quarter and 182,847 Model 3 and Model Y vehicles. Total deliveries were 184,877 versus 180,667 in the prior quarter and 88,496 in the first quarter of 2020.

Total production of vehicles in the quarter was 180,338, all of which were Model 3 and Model Y cars. By comparison, Tesla produced 179,575 vehicles in the prior quarter and 102,672 vehicles last year.

3. US, Europe, Shanghai factory updates

Model Y production at Tesla’s Fremont California facility continued to ramp successfully and is approaching full capacity, the company said. The company’s factory in Texas remains on track to begin production and deliveries “late this year.”

In Europe, the Gigafactory Berlin factory continues to move forward and the company is also guiding for production and delivery to commence in late 2021.

Last, Model Y production continues to ramp in China and expectations call for improving production output throughout 2021.

4. Technology updates

Tesla guided for its V9 version of FSD City Streets beta to become “more widely available” in the US. The company is also “nearly ready” to switch the US market to Tesla Vision.

Management noted it was able to navigate through the global chip supply shortage by transitioning to new microcontrollers and developing firmware for new chips made by new supplies.

5. Energy storage updates

Energy storage deployments improved 71% year-over-year in the first quarter, mostly due to the popularity of its Powerwall, Tesla said. Demand for Powerwall continues to exceed production rate.

Tesla said that the snowstorm in Texas and other weather-related events “continue to drive customers toward home energy storage solutions.”

6. Outlook

  • 50% average annual growth in vehicle deliveries over a multi-year period, depending on factors like stability of the supply chain.
  • Sufficient liquidity to fund operations.
  • Operaint margin to continue growing and reach industry-leading levels over time.
  • Expectations for Model Y production and deliveries in 2021 at Berlin and Texas factories.
  • Tesla Semi deliveries will begin in 2021.
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