What to Expect When Tesla Reports After the Close

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Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) is scheduled to release its most recent quarterly results after the markets close on Wednesday. The consensus estimates call for a net loss of $3.12 per share on $3.28 billion in revenue. The fourth quarter of last year reportedly had a net loss of $0.69 per share and $2.28 billion in revenue.

The company announced earlier this week that it is looking to build the world’s largest virtual power plant in Australia. Tesla plans to equip at least 50,000 homes in the state of South Australia with solar panels and Tesla battery storage units, connecting them all to the electricity grid. So far over 6,500 homes have signed up.

Separately, it was reported in late January that the company had hit some trouble in producing its new Model 3. While most analysts give Tesla a pass on the bottom line, or at least they have in the past, the number that is the most concerning is how many vehicles Tesla can produce. According to CNBC:

Tesla’s problems with battery production at the company’s Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada, are worse than the company has acknowledged and could cause further delays and quality issues for the new Model 3, according to a number of current and former Tesla employees. These problems include Tesla needing to make some of the batteries by hand and borrowing scores of employees from one of its suppliers to help with this manual assembly, said these people.

Tesla’s future as a mass-market carmaker hinges on automated production of the Model 3, which more than 400,000 people have already reserved, paying $1,000 refundable fees to do so.

Excluding Wednesday’s move, Tesla was up about 7% year to date, beating the broad markets. The stock was actually up closer to 30% over the past 52 weeks.

A few analysts weighed in on Tesla ahead of the earnings report:

  • Cowen has a Sell rating.
  • KeyCorp has a Hold rating.
  • Nomura has a Buy rating with a $500 price target.
  • Barclays has a Sell rating and a $210 price target.
  • Merrill Lynch has a Sell rating with a $155 target price.
  • Tigress Financial has a Hold rating.

Shares of Tesla were last seen up about 2% at $340.30, with a consensus analyst price target of $314.17 and a 52-week range of $242.01 to $389.61.