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Author: Alan LittleDate: 2020-10-23

Elon Musk hails Tesla’s (TSLA) “best” Q3 as sales soar 40%

Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk was in bullish mood on Thursday after stating that the electric car company’s latest quarter was the “best in history” as it beat Wall Street expectations for earnings and logged a 40% uptick in sales.

After Wednesday’s close, Tesla posted $0.76 earnings per share and $8.77bn for Q3, which trumped the $0.56 earnings per share and $8.28bn analyst consensus.

The strong financial showing was driven by the delivery of just shy of 140,000 vehicles, a figure that was 44% higher than a year ago.

Model 3 and Y deliveries were at the head of the pack, rising 56% to 124,318.

Tesla also delivered a record $809bn operating income and $1.4bn free cash flow.

Musk stated that he had never “felt more optimistic” about the company’s future in a conference call and said that it was still on track to sell 500,000 vehicles for the full year.

However, he did caution that the pandemic had made achieving that goal “more difficult”.

This will require it to deliver 181,000 vehicles in Q4, which would represent a record for the California-based enterprise.

Analysts were impressed by the latest numbers, especially the 215% spike in a $555m pre-tax profit, but remain sceptical overall.

Goldman Sachs’ Mark Delaney said that Tesla had “exceeded investor expectations for key items”.

Goldman stood pat on its neutral rating, though it did add $5 to a new $455 price target.

Cowen’s Jeffrey Osborne and RBC Capital’s Joseph Spak were not as complimentary after zeroing in on Tesla’s reliance on regulatory credits.

Bernstein’s Toni Sacconaghi also said that he was concerned about the pace of future growth.

TSLA stock has skyrocketed by 400% this year, but there were only modest gains on Thursday as shares climbed 1.84% to $430.43.


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