Electrician: Tesla doubles profit - sales still below expectations

Despite high inflation and global economic concerns, Tesla increased profits significantly in the third quarter.

Electrician: Tesla doubles profit - sales still below expectations

Despite high inflation and global economic concerns, Tesla increased profits significantly in the third quarter. The bottom line is that the electric car maker earned $3.29 billion in the three months to the end of September, more than twice as much as a year ago. Tesla announced this after the US stock market closed.

Revenue increased 56 percent to a record $21.45 billion, but fell short of market expectations. Analysts had expected sales of $22 billion. The stock fell 5 percent in after-hours trading.

Tesla boss Elon Musk tried to spread optimism during the obligatory conference call with financial analysts after the quarterly figures were presented. "It looks like we're going to have an epic end of the year," the tech billionaire announced, promising a "record-breaking" final quarter. Musk brushed aside concerns that a recession looming in the face of persistently high inflation rates and rising interest rates could slow down business: “We have excellent demand”. He sees Tesla on course to surpass the combined stock market value of Apple and Saudi Aramco in the long term - currently the most heavily traded companies in the world.

Way behind Apple and Saudi Aramco

For comparison, Apple is worth $2.3 trillion in the stock market, Saudi Aramco has a market cap of $2.1 trillion. Tesla brings it to a good 695 million dollars.

Musk promised "significant" share buybacks to boost Tesla stock, which has already fallen 37 percent this year. A buyback program could therefore have a volume of 5 to 10 billion dollars and start next year. The Tesla boss could use a rising share price.

He's the largest shareholder, and his adventurous plan to buy Twitter could soon force him to cash in on more Tesla shares. Musk kept a low profile on the billion-euro deal, which has not yet been completed after a long wrangling. Twitter has "incredible potential," he said at the end of the switch.

Tesla delivered almost 344,000 electric cars in the past quarter, setting a new record. Nevertheless, it seems uncertain whether the group can achieve its ambitious goal of increasing deliveries in 2022 by 50 percent compared to the previous year. To do this, Tesla would have to sell more than 1.4 million vehicles for the year as a whole and bring more than half a million cars to customers in the final quarter.

Annual goal: 50 percent growth

Tesla explained that the growth rate will depend on various factors, including component availability and supply chain stability. CFO Zach Kirkhorn emphasized at the analyst conference that Tesla still expects to achieve the annual target of 50 percent growth.

With its car factory in Grünheide near Berlin, Tesla is not afraid of a possible energy crisis in Europe, said Kirkhorn. "It's not something we're very worried about." Tesla wants to continue increasing production at its plants as soon as possible. Logistics and bottlenecks in the supply chains remain "immediate challenges", but the situation is improving.

The group has so far coped better than many other manufacturers with the supply bottlenecks for important components such as computer chips. However, a Covid lockdown in China threw back Tesla's large auto plant in Shanghai in the previous quarter. In the meantime, however, operations there are running smoothly again - according to the quarterly report, the production rate has reached a record level.

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