Tesla Motors is expected to post lower earning in first quarter of 2014

Article by Andrew Christian, on May 8, 2014

Analysts are expecting Tesla Motors Inc. to post lower earnings in the first quarter of 2014 as it sales were hit by the decline of clean-car credit sales in California as well as by constraints in battery supply. According to the average estimate of 10 analysts polled by Bloomberg, Tesla may log earnings of 7 cents a share, excluding some items.

Tesla earned 12 cents a share on the same basis in the same period in 2013, boosted by higher sales of California zero-emission vehicle credit and savings from its early repayment of a federal loan. Analysts, however, expect Tesla to post a loss using GAAP as basis.

On that basis, Tesla managed to cut its net loss to $74 million in 2013 from $396 million in 2012. The carmaker also saw its revenues surge 387 percent to $2 billion in 2013 from $413 million in 2012. That surge is not expected in the first quarter of 2014.

The electric car maker just started selling its vehicles in China in April, which means any sales in the country won’t be included in its first-quarter results. Analysts still expect Tesla to post a sales gain in the first three months of 2014, although it would not top the record 6,892 set in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Craig Irwin, an analyst with Wedbush Securities, quipped that constraints in battery supplies and 1,000 cars being shipped to China will keep tesla from setting another sales record.

Tesla is planning to hike the output of its Model S by 56 percent and boost its sales in China to a figure similar to that in the United States by as early as 2015. Irwin, as well as Barclays’s Brian Johnson and Robert W. Baird’s Ben Kallo, remarked that gauging demand for Tesla vehicles in China is critical.

Kallo quipped that as he expects shipments of Tesla Model S to China will rise quickly following its initial launch last month.

Topics: tesla, earnings

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