Tesla claims record revenue of $4B in Q2 2018


Given Elon Musk's recent outbursts on Twitter and issues over Model 3 production, Tesla's latest quarter is shaping up to be big one for the electric auto company.

The all-electric automaker said that it had made $4 billion in auto, battery and leasing revenue during the second quarter of the year, a sharp increase over the same quarter last year because it had finally introduced its newest Model 3 sedan. That was worse than Wall Street estimates. Analysts were projecting Tesla would go through about US$900 million during the period, after burning more than US$1 billion in three of the previous four quarters.

The net loss more than doubled from the same quarter a year ago.

The company said it had repeatedly hit weekly production of about 5,000 Model 3s multiple times during July. The company began to burn through money as it attempted to reach its production milestone of 5,000 Model 3's a week.

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Musk's tweet last month calling a British diver working on the cave rescue of Thai schoolboys a "pedo guy", or pedophile, elicited a rare rebuke from Tesla's fourth-largest shareholder, Baillie Gifford, that Musk should stop tweeting and focus on executing the company's business at hand.

Tesla ended June with about US$2.2 billion in cash on its balance sheet, the least it's carried since the first quarter of 2016. "It's good to be looking at the other end of this nightmare production ramp".

And not only was the company's outlook more muted, so was CEO Elon Musk. Ultimately, the electric auto manufacturer wants to see its factories churning out 10,000 units per week by the end of this year, doubling the current rate of production. Mr Musk then took the first two questions from two analysts he was harshest with last quarter - Sanford C Bernstein's Toni Sacconaghi and RBC Capital Markets' Joseph Spak - and offered personal apologies.

The sedan that was central to the company's mission when it was founded in 2003 - to bring electric vehicles to the masses - has been picking up the pace in recent months, with the company now expecting to build as many as 55,000 units this quarter.

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Tesla may also have more financing coming in soon, after all.

In June, Musk said the company would reduce costs by laying off 9 percent of its workforce. Shares were up 11% in extended trading Wednesday. The stock has slumped 19 per cent since a 2018 high of $370.73 in June.

Beyond its goal of making 6,000 vehicles a week, Tesla hopes to expand Model 3 production to 10,000 units in an unspecified timeframe. Tesla is going to be an wonderful company over the next five years.

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