Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) reported first-quarter earnings Wednesday after market. According to the report vehicle production in Q1 increased by 64% compared to a year ago, which enabled us to set new quarterly records of 25,051 deliveries and $2.7 billion in GAAP revenue. Model 3 activities related to vehicle development, manufacturing equipment installation and supplier readiness remain on plan to start production in July. Q1 revenues were just under $2.7 billion with total net loss for the quarter of nearly $400 million. On a non-GAAP basis, Tesla lost $1.33 per share, a bigger loss than what the Street was expecting.
During Tesla's first-quarter conference call on Wednesday, Barclays analyst Brian Johnson asked, "A couple years ago when the stock was at $200 … you outlined a scenario where you could get to $700 billion in market cap. That's about where Apple was at the time. We're two years later, you're obviously close to the Model 3 launch, how are you looking at that?"
According to a FactSet transcript the Tesla founder and CEO said he believes it can reach that valuation because of pioneering development in robots, software and artificial intelligence:
"Well, now I may want to preface this by of course I could be completely delusional, but I think I see a clear path to that outcome … The set of steps necessary to achieve that outcome seems pretty obvious. I am heavily involved in Tesla [getting] incredibly good at the machine that builds the machine, which involves, by the way, a tremendous amount of software. This is not just a bunch of robots that are sitting there. It's the programming of robots and how they interact. And it's far more complex than the software in the car. I mean, I think, this is just going to be a very difficult thing for other manufacturers to copy. I would not know what to do if I were in their position."