Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) reported its fourth quarter and full year financial results for fiscal year 2017. The electric vehicle manufacturer beat analysts’ estimates in both earnings and revenue, and also reported a record high revenue. Tesla shares were 2.6 percent higher during Wednesday’s after-hours.
For the fourth quarter, Tesla reported revenue of $3.29 billion, increasing from $2.3 billion from the previous year’s same quarter, and beating analysts’ estimates of $3.28 billion. The company reported an EPS loss of $3.04, increasing from a net loss of $0.69 the previous year’s same quarter, but beating analysts’ estimates net loss of $3.12.
Automotive revenue in the fourth quarter increased by 36 percent year over year, driven by a 35 percent growth in vehicle deliveries. For the full year, automotive revenue increased by 52 percent year over year.
The strong automotive revenue was driven by the record Model S and Model X deliveries. In the fourth quarter, Tesla delivered a combined total of 28,425 Model S and Model X vehicles, including 1,542 Model 3 vehicles, totaling 29,967 deliveries.
Tesla introduced new additions to its factory production line, which will begin production in the upcoming years, but the most important and highly anticipated vehicle was its Model 3. Although the company had trouble with production issues and delivering the vehicles, the operations began to ramp up. Tesla says it is on target for a Model 3 production rate of approximately 5,000 per week by the end of the second quarter in 2018.
In anticipation for ramped up Model 3 deliveries, Tesla’s Supercharger network saw its largest growth yet. In 2017, 338 new locations were opened, totaling 1,128 Supercharger stations globally. Between Supercharger and Destination Charging, the company increased capacity by over 90 percent.
Tesla also launched its showcase for its Tesla Semi truck and Tesla Roadster. The Tesla semi had compiled hundreds of reservations from major companies such as UPS, Walmart, Pepsico and others.
Tesla was very ambitious throughout 2017, which led to may concerns among investors and analysts. The problem many said was that Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, had promised investors too much but did not deliver, pointing to Musk’s Model 3 promised delivery rate.
Musk’s tendency to promise but not deliver had led many analysts to turn bearish on Tesla, but after its fourth quarter results, the company seems like it is headed into a strong direction, although it had reported a larger net loss.
Tesla’s net loss over the past year was mainly due to its Model 3 production, but if Musk can actually deliver at the rate of 5,000 per week by the second quarter, the company should be positioned for potentially profitable quarters to come.
In 2018, Tesla expects itself to begin generating positive quarterly operating income on a sustained basis which will be driven by both the Model 3 and energy storage products.
Tesla is forecasting a total of 100,000 Model S and Model X deliveries in 2018, as it says 2018 revenue growth will significantly exceed 2017’s growth. The company also aims to at least triple it sales in energy storage products as solar projects become more prominent.