What’s Driving Tesla’s Big Q3 Beat

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Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) reported third quarter financial results after markets closed Wednesday. Despite the tumultuous quarter that Tesla has survived, the company managed to post an incredible beat on the bottom line, not to mention other wins with its Model 3.

The company reported $2.90 in earnings per share (EPS) on $6.82 billion in revenue, versus consensus estimates that called for a net loss of $0.19 per share and $6.3 billion in revenue. The same period from last year had a net loss of $2.92 per share and $2.98 billion in revenue.

Given the growth of Model 3, Tesla delivered almost 70,000 vehicles (Model 3, Model S, and Model X) in the US in Q3. Automotive revenue in Q3 increased by 82% sequentially over Q2, mainly due to a sharp increase in Model 3 deliveries.

In Q3, Tesla delivered 56,065 Model 3s to customers. Separately the company delivered 27,710 Model S and X vehicles in the quarter as well.

Looking ahead, Model 3 quarterly production and deliveries are expected to increase in Q4 compared to Q3. The target of delivering 100,000 Model S and X vehicles this year remains unchanged. Tesla reaffirmed its prior guidance that it expects to again achieve positive GAAP net income in Q4.

For the fourth quarter, consensus estimates are calling for $0.72 in EPS and $6.82 billion in revenue.

Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, detailed in the report:

Q3 2018 was a truly historic quarter for Tesla. Model 3 was the best-selling car in the US in terms of revenue and the 5th best-selling car in terms of volume. With average weekly Model 3 production through the quarter (excluding planned shutdowns) of roughly 4,300 units per week, we achieved GAAP net income of $312 million. We also delivered on our internal cost efficiency targets, leading to GAAP Model 3 gross margin of more than 20%, which exceeded our guidance.

Shares of Tesla closed Wednesday at $288.50, with a consensus analyst price target of $314.52 and a 52-week range of $244.59 to $387.46. Following the announcement, the stock was up 8% at $311.22 in the after-hours session.