Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) Could Blast Past Guidance

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Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) will release its next quarterly report on Nov. 4, and some analysts see upside to expectations. Writing on the Huffington Post, Shawn Lawrence Otto says he thinks the automaker will even blow past its own guidance for the quarter.

Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) Could Blast Past Guidance

Tesla shares rising again

Shares of Tesla rose more than 3 percent during the regular trading day on Friday, heading back up toward the $180 a share mark. The stock has been pummeled lately because of the Model S fire and also just general worries within the market because of debt ceiling concerns. Otto believes the lower price presents a buying opportunity for investors because Tesla shares remain approximately 11 percent below their all-time high.

Tesla guided for 5,000 vehicles in Q3

When it provided guidance at the end of the last quarter, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) said it would deliver “slightly over 5,000 Model S vehicles” in the third quarter. It also said it would remain on track to deliver 21,000 vehicles around the world for 2013. According to Otto, current VIN numbers are one clue that the company is ahead of schedule. Other analysts have noted the VIN numbers as a sign that Tesla is doing well also.

The automaker issues its VINs in sequential order, with the last five digits of the VIN indicating the vehicle’s number within the production run. New Tesla owners submit their VINs to the automaker’s forums, providing a way for analysts and investors to track how fast the company is churning out cars. Otto says his own Model S has a VIN ending in 22,017, which shows that it was the 22,017th Model S made. He posted his VIN in September.

Tesla probably came out ahead

This means that by the end of the third quarter, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) had delivered more than 22,000 Model S sedans. This likely means that the automaker has already outpaced its own guidance for the entire year, and we haven’t even gotten into fourth quarter numbers yet.

Otto notes that there were more than 2,650 vehicles delivered in all of 2012 and then more than 4,750 vehicles delivered in the first quarter of this year. In the second quarter, the automaker delivered more than 5,150 vehicles. That’s a total of 12,550 vehicles delivered through the end of the second quarter.

Tesla might have delivered almost 10,000 vehicles in Q3

He said even if we assume that his Model S was the last one delivered in the third quarter of the year, this would mean that Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s third quarter deliveries were 9,467. That’s a tremendous surge over the company’s guidance of a little over 5,000 vehicles. Craig Froehle, who keeps the VIN thread on Tesla’s website, suggests that Tesla is issuing about 800 VINs per week, which is actually the production rate goal set by Tesla for next year.

If these clues from the issuing of VINs are accurate, then this could mean that the Model S is the new bestselling electric vehicle in the U.S., surpassing the Chevy Volt with its 16,760 vehicles through the end of the third quarter and the Nissan Leaf with its 16,076 vehicles through the same time period.

Otto suggests that Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) may even have hit its 25 percent gross margin goal by the end of the third quarter. Once again, this would be a quarter ahead of previously scheduled. A lot is riding on those Nov. 4 results. Will they be far enough ahead of guidance to spur another massive share price surge?

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