Tesla’s Quarterly Report Sends Its Stock Back to Earth

 Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images
Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

If you’re a casual investor who doesn’t track the market day-to-day and happen to hold a position in shares of Tesla, you were probably up for a rather rude awakening on Thursday morning when you decided to check in on your investments to find that your stock in the electric vehicle maker was down about 7%, or $20 per share, in pre-market trading (the stock was trading down 7.36% at press-time).

The plummet was due to Tesla’s quarterly report that was released on Wednesday night. Although the company — which has been subjected to vicious scrutiny in terms of its numbers — beat expectations for both earnings per share and revenue, investors found a few key details not to like and, as a result, sent the stock spinning.

The largest and most notable update was that Tesla is now projecting a range of 50,000 to 55,000 vehicle deliveries by years’ end, a (sort of) downward revision from the straight 55,000 number it’s been parading. With high expectations placed on Tesla’s head, any downward revision in any facet of its business is wont to put pressure on the stock, and this is no different.

The company said it’s committed to starting the Model X deliveries in the third quarter, and is expecting a “small” number of Model X deliveries for that period. However, the downward revision in deliveries overall is likely related to a note that says the same assembly line is being used for both the Model X and Model S, which could strain production.

Source: Tesla
Source: Tesla

In more bottom-line bad news, Tesla said that based on a product mix and foreign exchange conversions, the average selling price of the Model S is expected to drop about 100 basis points, or 1%. That likely won’t affect Tesla materially, but the company’s investors have proven themselves fickle to the point that anything negative is impossible to overlook. Given that the car — which went on sale in 2012 — is still pulling more than $70,000 each, a 1% slip is actually pretty commendable.

Tesla’s capital expenditure was kept consistent with previous guidance, at $1.5 billion. This money goes into building up the company’s facilities, investing in new equipment, and other long-term assets. It’s been a marker for Tesla’s investors to determine how much the company is shoveling into growing its operations.

During the second quarter, Tesla surpassed its own production guidance of 12,500 vehicles by producing 12,807, delivering 11,532 — an upward revision from the previously revealed 11,507.

Lastly, Tesla announced its plans to ramp up Tesla Energy deliveries in the fourth quarter, moving some of its eggs into a different basket to help open up a new revenue channel. The company noted that production of the wall-mounted (or floor-based for commercial purposes) battery packs will be moved to the Gigafactory in Nevada next year.

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