Tesla (TSLA 286.77, +6.91, +2.47%) is expected to announce first quarter
production and delivery figures this week. The roller coaster ride for
shareholders continued in the first quarter and shows no signs of slowing.
Tesla guided for increased Model 3 production but fewer sequential deliveries in the US as the company started delivering to Europe and China in the first quarter. Deliveries are expected to trail production by about 10,000 units due to vehicle transit times to those markets. Tesla delivered 63,359 Model 3 vehicles to customers in North America in the fourth quarter.
Tesla also guided for Model S and Model X deliveries in the first quarter to be slightly below the first quarter of 2018 due to a pull-forward of demand as the Federal EV tax credit expired on January 1.
On April 4, a Federal judge in New York will hear arguments from the SEC that Elon Musk should be held in contempt of court for violating a settlement agreement. Elon Musk agreed to tame his active twitter account in a settlement last year.
On February 19, Mr. Musk tweeted that Tesla would produce around 500,000 vehicles in 2019. Hours later, he clarified the production rate would reach 500,000 by year end and deliveries would be about 400,000. That next morning, Tesla General Counsel Dane Butswinkas departed after just two months on the job.
In conjunction with fourth quarter results, Tesla guided for 2019 deliveries up 45-65% to 360,000-400,000, with positive GAAP net income and positive free cash flow after the first quarter.
In late February, Tesla announced the long-awaited $35,000 base-level Model 3 would finally be available. The company also announced an online-only sales strategy that has since been walked back. Tesla then announced a price increase on vehicles other than the $35,000 Model 3.
The unveiling of the crossover Model Y on March 14 was underwhelming. Deliveries of the vehicle similar to the Model 3 are about two years away.
The stock fell back toward the lower end of its recent ~$260-370/share range as investors considered soft demand in the US and bears pointed to a potential inventory problem. That said, opening up Europe and China for the Model 3 should've dramatically improved demand.
Controversy does not appear to be abating from this stock anytime soon. With a ~$48 bln market cap, the company is worth less than General Motors (GM) but more than Ford (F). Meanwhile, the ~18x EV/EBITDA multiple is on par with Ferrari (RACE).
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