Tesla Reports Another Loss as It Struggles With Model 3

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We can say with certainty that Elon Musk will be under close scrutiny by the media and by investors as Q2 unfolds, with particular attention being paid to the continued production ramp for Model 3. It is expected that the company may report lower-than-expected results in its first quarter report expected to be announced on Wednesday.

Tesla stock was little changed after the earnings announcement but fell during a conference call with analysts, when Musk began cutting analysts' questions short, costing Tesla over $2 billion in market capitalisation. "Sorry, these questions are so boring".

On Tesla's Q1 2018 earnings call today, Tesla CEO Elon Musk shed some light on the company's ambitions to launch an autonomous-vehicle ridesharing network. That's what I expect analysts to ask during the Tesla Q1 earnings call.

But when analysts wanted to delve into the details about gross margin, Musk brushed off the questions as "not cool" and "boring". One interesting fact is that Tesla is still losing money on every Model 3 it builds, particularly as it has had to cut back on automation in certain areas of production until it can iron out some kinks.

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Tesla has learned from its "production hell", the start-up problems that have held up full production of the upper-middle-priced Model 3 that Musk intends to revolutionize private transportation.

Joseph Spak, of RBC Capital Markets tried to dig into the number of initial reservations for the Tesla Model 3 that haven't been cancelled because of the production delays. Munro & Associates, a small Detroit company that disassembles new cars, praised the Model 3 for the battery packs and electronics but knocked it for build quality and inconsistent gaps between body panels. It took in $3.4 billion during the quarter, besting the $3.2 billion that had been forecast.

The company said in a statement last month that it does not need to raise capital.

Tesla burned through $700 million in cash last quarter.

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According to Zacks, analysts expect that Tesla will report full-year sales of $18.66 billion for the current financial year, with estimates ranging from $14.03 billion to $23.01 billion. But Tesla isn't making that version yet; more recently, it's referred to that price point as a "variant" instead of a "base".

When Musk first unveiled the Model 3 in March 2016, he described it as a $35,000 vehicle - before options or incentives.

"It's high time we became profitable", said Musk, who also promised restructuring this month to achieve profit goals.

Tesla said it produced 2,270 Model 3s per week in the last week of April. Revenue grew by 26 per cent from a year ago to $US3.4 billion.

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Tesla posted a record $709.6m net loss in the first quarter and burned through $745.3m in cash while struggling to crank out large numbers of its Model 3 mass-market electric auto. Excluding one-time expenses such as stock-based compensation, the company lost $3.35 per share. A loss on the bottom line of $3.35 per share was slightly better than the -$3.37 expected (though still down 150% year over year).