Tesla posts $49.8 million net loss in first quarter of 2014

Article by Christian A., on May 9, 2014

Tesla Motors Inc. logged $49.8 million in net losses in the first quarter, despite producing a record 7,535 Model S electric vehicles, selling 6,457 units, and generating $620 million in revenues. This compares to $11.3 million in net income on $555 million in revenues in the same quarter in 2013.

Tesla actually posted $155 million in gross profit in the period, but had to suffer $44 million in operating losses when its r&d and sales and administrative expenses are taken into account. Tesla chief executive Elon Musk said in a call with analysts that the carmaker has already sold out its second quarter production.

He noted that while in some cases sales means demand, in Tesla’s case sales means deliveries. Tesla employs non-traditional accounting methods outside the generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). Using those methods, Tesla logged $17 million in profit on $713 million in revenues in the quarter.

Non-GAAP financials exclude stock-based compensation and non-cash interest expense, while adding back the deferred revenue and related costs for cars sold with a resale value guarantee. Tesla only posted a GAAP-based profit in the first quarter of 2013.

Tesla CFO Deepak Ahuja remarked that the carmaker is logging stronger gross margins due to improvements in its cost structure. Musk noted that Tesla does not reduce cost by cutting the value of its offerings.

Tesla disclosed in its earnings releasethat it is expecting to deliver 7,500 Model S sedans in the second quarter on the way to 35,000 vehicles in 2014. The carmaker hopes that the tight battery supply issue that restricts their output would be resolved by the third quarter of 2014.

Tesla also expects its r&d expenses to surge 30 percent and its selling, general and administrative expenses to rise 15 percent – which could affect its results in the second quarter of the year. [source: Tesla]

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