Tesla will start making mass-market Model 3 in July

Brittany BishopFeb 23, 2017

This is the first time Tesla reported earnings since the company's acquisition of SolarCity Corp.in mid-November. The firm attains analyst recommendation of 2.90 with week's performance of -1.14%. Uncertainty by analysts on how Tesla would model SolarCity into its results resulted in a wide range of estimates.

As for earnings, Tesla narrowed its losses in the fourth quarter and came in ahead of expectations.

Adjusted, Tesla lost $106.5 million, or 69 cents a gallon, compared to $264.8 million, or 75 cents a share, in the same quarter previous year. Analysts had been expecting losses of 42 cents per share (although estimates are all over the map here) and $2.2 billion in sales.

Tesla said production has begun at its Gigafactory on battery packs for its cars and for electrical storage at homes, businesses and utilities. The company produced almost 25,000 vehicles in 2016.

A conference call to discuss the earnings is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Some investors and analysts were anxious the Model 3 might be behind schedule. Wall Street will be eager to hear details on the Model 3, the all-electric mass-market vehicle that Chief Executive Elon Musk hopes to start producing in July and selling later this year.

For 2017, the company said that it would "deliver 47,000 to 50,000 Model S and Model X vehicles combined in the first half of 2017, representing vehicle delivery growth of 61% to 71% compared with the same period past year".

Elon Musk has a history of setting ambitious targets and missing deadlines. The most lofty price projection sees the stock reaching $500 within the year, while the most conservative has a $160 target on the name.

Tesla's full letter to shareholders can be viewed over here. Reilly Financial Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of Tesla Motors by 92.9% in the third quarter.

Tesla shares closed down in regular trading but are up 28% since the start of the year.

The company's results include those of SolarCity, which was acquired past year. That may be the most important news of the day. "In Q4, we increased cash by $309 million".

"A high valuation for a potentially disruptive company is warranted", Thibault wrote to investors, but cautioned that "from an automotive perspective, Tesla brings little to the table-whether technologically or from a design perspective - that other automakers can't or won't bring to market within the next few years".

Tesla reported a rare profit in the previous quarter after CEO Elon Musk implored employees to slash costs and "deliver every auto we possibly can". Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a "buy" rating on shares of Tesla Motors in a research note on Wednesday, December 14th. Since then, the shares have doubled.

Main Street investors remain bullish. The shares were sold at an average price of $254.44, for a total value of $1,424,864.00. While it may only be short-term the stock is more likely to move down vs. up after today's earnings announcement.

Throughout 2016, Tesla delivered 76,230 vehicles, an impressive figure to be sure, but one that falls just slightly below the company's 2016 projection of 80,000 units.

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