Tesla posts another loss as the beleaguered automaker seeks to increase production

02 August, 2018, 16:33 | Author: Kathy Ellis
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American carmaker Tesla has reported its biggest quarterly loss yet of 717-and-a-half million dollars. In the past year, Tesla has come under scrutiny for its factory conditions, auto production, treatment of employees, odd cost cutting measures, and CEO Elon Musk's fitful interactions with critics.

Tesla shares were up 5 percent at $316.45 in after-market trading on Wednesday.

In a statement released after the markets closed Wednesday, Tesla said it expects to produce between 50,000 and 55,000 Model 3s in the third quarter, an increase of at least 75 per cent from the first quarter. The compay reported an adjusted net loss of $3.06 per share, more than analysts expected. For the quarter gone by, Tesla a few weeks ago noted that Model S, Model X, and Model 3 deliveries respectively checked in at 10,930, 11,370, and 18,400 units for the quarter. The call triggered a stock sell-off and raised questions about Mr Musk's behaviour.

Tesla's second-quarter losses of $743 million were lower than analysts' estimates, of about $900 million.

Tesla also faces broader challenges that could make its cars more hard to sell.

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Just as the flare-up contributed to a smackdown in Tesla's stock in May, Musk's contrite tone this time around contributed to today's real-time rise in prices. Capital expenditure is expected to fall $900m to about $2.5bn this year and Tesla had $2.2bn in cash and equivalents.

That loss is close to double the $336.4 million ($454.4 million) it lost during the first quarter of 2018, although total revenue rose from US$2.79 to US$4.0 billion.

Bannon said that when he joined Tesla, employees considered many options, including Nvidia graphics cards, and said they talked with people at Arm, whose technology is used in chips from Qualcomm (QCOM) and other companies. Musk also says that Pole Position could be linked to the car's actual steering wheel, which would certainly make for an interesting addition.

Had it delivered the vehicle in June, the subsidy would have lapsed a quarter earlier, a strategic move applauded by Ross Gerber, chief executive of Gerber Kawasaki Wealth and Investment Management, which holds Tesla shares. Tesla said in its shareholder letter that the Model 3's gross margin "turned slightly positive" in Q2, and the boost in production could move that figure up to 15 percent by quarter's end.

Tesla also said it's working on a new version of its Autopilot semi-autonomous software that will have greater safety features. Tesla has never posted an annual profit and has only had two profitable quarters since going public in 2010.

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