Should Tesla Get More Credit for Its Earnings Beat?

Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) reported its most recent quarterly results after the closing bell on Monday. The electric vehicle (EV) giant said that it had $0.93 in earnings per share (EPS) and $10.39 billion in revenue, compared with consensus estimates that called for $0.79 in EPS and $10.29 billion in revenue. The fourth quarter of last year reportedly had $0.23 in EPS and $5.99 billion in revenue.

Revenues decreased 3.3% on a quarter-over-quarter basis and increased 73.6% year over year. This was achieved primarily through substantial growth in vehicle deliveries, as well as growth in other parts of the business. At the same time, vehicle ASP (average selling price) declined by 13% year over year as Model S and Model X deliveries reduced in the first quarter due to the product updates and as lower ASP China-made vehicles became a larger percentage of the mix.

In the first quarter, operating income increased to $594 million, resulting in a 57% operating margin.

For the quarter, automotive sales increased 75% year over year to $9.00 billion, with a gross margin of 26.5%. Total deliveries came in at 184,877 for the quarter.

Separately, the company reported solar deployment of 92 MW and storage deployment of 445 MWh, year over year increases of 163% and 71%, respectively.

On the books, Tesla reported cash and cash equivalents of $17.141 billion at the end of the first quarter, versus $19.38 billion at the end of the previous year.

Tesla stock closed Monday at $738.20, in a 52-week range of $136.61 to $900.40. The consensus price target is $650.81. Following the announcement, the stock was down over 1% at $725.51 in the after-hours session.