Tesla will have had to deliver more than 10,000 cars to meet guidance

Tesla Motors Inc Earnings: How Many Cars Were Delivered?

Tesla Motors is scheduled to release its next earnings report tomorrow, and all of Wall Street is watching to see if the EV manufacturer met all of its targets for 2014. Other key parts of the report include guidance and updates on the gigafactory, the Model X and other plans.

Consensus estimates suggest analysts are expecting earnings of 31 cents per share on $1.23 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter.

A tall order for Tesla

Tesla faces a big problem this time around, as it already cut its full year delivery guidance by 2,000 cars to 33,000. In order to meet that target, the automaker would have had to deliver over 10,000 cars during the fourth quarter, which would be a more than 30% increase, according to Trefis analysts.

The automaker has been trying to get to the point where it can produce about 1,000 cars per week by the end of this year, so it’s possible that the company could have produced enough to meet guidance. It’s still a tall order though, seeing as how management has set the deadline for that production rate at the end of this year.

How fast can Tesla ramp production?

Tesla aims to be producing about 2,000 cars per week by the end of next year. In order to do that though, Trefis analysts estimate that it will have to up its delivery rate by 25% per quarter. They note that the introduction of the Model X in the middle of this year should help boost Tesla’s deliveries.

However, the rate at which the automaker can ramp up production is going to be very important in how many cars it can deliver this year. The Trefis team estimates that approximately 1,200 of the cars produced during the second quarter weren’t delivered until fourth quarter.

Of course that does mean that the lag time between production and delivery fell quite a bit for the fourth quarter as they believe more than 90% of the cars Tesla produced in the quarter were also delivered. The Trefis analysts also think though that it’s possible the reduction in lag time is “artificial” because Tesla sold some of the cars off the floor of its stores and gave away test vehicles in order to keep up with demand.

As of this writing, shares of Tesla Motors were up 0.69% to $218.93 per share.