Tesla reports surprise Q1 profit despite coronavirus uncertainty
SAN FRANCISCO, USA – Tesla reported a surprise first quarter profit Wednesday, April 29, on higher car production and deliveries, but refrained from near-term earnings forecasts due to uncertainty about the coronavirus.
Shares surged after the electric car company reported profits of $16 million, compared with a loss of $702 million in the year-ago period. Analysts had anticipated a loss.
Revenues rose 32% to $6.0 billion.
Tesla scored large increases in both car production and deliveries and reported progress in ramping up production at its Fremont, California factory and at a newly-opened plant in Shanghai.
But the company closed the Fremont plant in late March following a standoff between state officials and Chief Executive Elon Musk.
Tesla had hoped to reopen the factory by May 4, but a joint statement from Northern California health officials extended a shelter-in-place order through May.
Musk, who has repeatedly criticized government lockdown measures, said on Twitter Wednesday, "FREE AMERICA NOW."
Tesla said it has the capacity to exceed 500,000 vehicle deliveries in 2020, but said of the Fremont plant "it remains uncertain how quickly we and our suppliers will be able to ramp up production after resuming operations."
The company said it was unable to project near-term net income and free cashflow, saying "due to the wide range of potential outcomes, near-term guidance of net income and free cash flow would likely be inaccurate."
Shares surged 9.3% to $875 in after-hours trading. – Rappler.com