The Nasdaq-listed firm reported earnings per share for the quarter, excluding one-line items, of US$2.14 per share, up from US$2 a year ago and comfortably surpassing consensus of US$1.77. Revenues, meanwhile, were up 2% year-on-year at US$7.2bn and above forecasts of US$7bn.
READ: Tesla investors hoping fourth quarter results can justify recent stratospheric share price leap
Production figures also hit a record high in the quarter, with the firm managing to pump out 112,000 vehicles from its factories, while for the full year its delivered 367,500 automobiles, up 50% on the prior year and within its previous guidance of between 360,000-400,000.
Tesla also set itself a goal to sell more than 500,000 vehicles in the coming year, although it did warn that the ramp-up for production of its Model 3 at its new ‘Gigafactory’ in Shanghai will be delayed by around one week due to a government-mandated shutdown amid the coronavirus outbreak, causing a slight impact to its profit for the current quarter.
CMC Markets UK’s David Madden said the results would be welcomed by traders despite the production delays as the numbers were “another sign the company is shaking off its volatile image, and is moving into more stable territory”.
The performance is also likely to be something of a vindication for Tesla’s colourful chief executive Elon Musk, who was blamed for a number of events that called into question the viability of the company and his status as its boss.
One such incident included a US$20mln fine from the US Security and Exchange Commission after Musk claimed on Twitter in 2018 that he had secured funding to take the company private, only to abandon the plans amid shareholder criticism and accusations of investment fraud.
“In light of those events it’s hardly a surprise the Tesla share price had a rough ride for the first portion of 2019. When it became clear the company was getting its house in order, and it was making progress in relation to production, then the Tesla share price began to shake-off the negative trend”, Madden said.
In early New York trade on Thuesday, Tesla shares were 9.9% higher at US$638.50.
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