Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) released the earnings results from its most recently completed quarter after closing bell tonight, posting adjusted earnings of 2 cents per share on GAAP revenue of $852 million (non-GAAP revenue was $932 million). Analysts had been expecting the automaker to report a loss of 1 cent per share on $892 million in revenue for the third quarter. In the same quarter last year, Tesla reported earnings of 12 cents per share on $603 million in revenue.
Key metrics from Tesla’s earnings report
The automaker’s GAAP net loss was 60 cents per share, compared to a loss of 28 cents per share in the same quarter last year. Tesla reported a slight decline in the average selling price of the Model S due to the stronger dollar. The non-GAAP automotive gross margin was 23%, and the GAAP gross margin was 22.6%, both of which exclude zero emission vehicle credits. Automotive revenue included $31 million in power train sales and $93 million in regulatory credits.
Tesla Motors delivered 7,785 Model S sedans during the quarter. Analysts wanted to see around 8,000 cars delivered, which was slightly ahead of Tesla’s guidance of about 7,800 for the third quarter. The automaker directly leased 347 vehicles to U.S. customers.
Tesla provides guidance
Tesla management said they expect fourth quarter adjusted earnings to be between 30 cents and 35 cents per share. They project a non-GAAP automotive gross margin of greater than 28% late in the fourth quarter.
The automaker said it expects to deliver 33,000 vehicles this year and still expects to produce 35,000 Model S sedans, even though there is a production deficit of 2,000 cars, so tonight’s result implies that Tesla will need to produce about 13,000 cars in the fourth quarter.
Tesla Motors also said it is ramping up production and plans to be able to produce more than 2,000 vehicles by the end of next year. The automaker said its ability to ramp production in the fourth quarter is constrained because of the addition of the dual motor model and the autopilot hardware. They expect to lease between 3,000 and 3,500 cars in North America during the fourth quarter.