Tesla Posts Narrower-Than-Expected Q4 Loss

Electric GT Tesla 2

The Tesla Inc (TSLA) earnings release revealed $2.7 billion in automotive revenue and a GAAP automotive gross margin of 18.9%, compared to $2 billion and 22.6% in the year-ago quarter. The company also said that net reservations for the Model 3 were still "stable" in Q4, and they have begun to grow more recently since it has been able to ship show units to some of its stores.

Energy generation and storage revenue decreased 6 percent sequentially.

Tesla is continuing to plough money into the production of electric cars people can really on and want to buy.

The company (naturally) contends that all losses are temporary. Musk specified in the accompanying earnings call that he expected the company to be profitable by the more stringent Generally Accepted Accounting Principles this year.

Tesla anticipates stronger revenue growth in 2018 compared to last year, adding that quarterly operating income is on pace to turn positive sometime during the current fiscal year.

The firm's future hangs on the Model 3 sedan, but it has so far struggled with production bottlenecks. The number of supercharger stations, meanwhile, rose to 1,128 after opening 338 new locations during 2017, Tesla said. The Model 3 officially launched last July.

In Q4, Tesla delivered 28,425 Model S and Model X vehicles and 1,542 Model 3 vehicles, totalling 29,967 deliveries. Eleven research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have issued a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company's stock.

But by the end of Q4, deliveries seemed only marginally better.

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Tesla said it is on track to meet its Model 3 production targets, having repeatedly pushed back deadlines in the past and after reports emerged in the U.S. that the company looked set to warn over further delays.

But the company believes it is well placed to ramp up production from here, noting that recent acquisitions of advanced automation companies will help its cause. Shortly after unveiling the replacement hardware and software, CEO Elon Musk claimed that the company's new version - Autopilot 2.0 - would be good enough that a auto equipped with it would complete a trip from Los Angeles to NY without a single moment of human interference.

Model 3. Image source: Tesla.

Tesla's Autopilot program has been going through a period of upheaval, with three division leaders in roughly a year. The company revealed that it had completed "an extensive overhaul of the underlying architecture of our software" enabling "a step-change improvement in the collection and analysis of data and fundamentally enhanced its machine learning capabilities". "At the point that you have solved passive optical extremely well, what is the point of active optical?" "This project is already generating substantial benefit by meeting high summer demand when supply is limited and by instantaneously responding to unplanned interruptions or frequency drops in the grid", Tesla wrote.

In addition, Tesla is targeting to "at least triple" its energy storage products sales this year. All of this sets the stage for 2018 to be a transformative year for us. It's a stance that provokes a lot of debate among experts in the field, many of whom, including former Tesla employees, disagree that full autonomy can be managed with a sensor load out that doesn't include LiDAR.

"We're talking about Elon Musk". We incorporated all the learnings from the development and production of Roadster, Model S, and Model X to create the world's first mass market electric vehicle that is priced on par with its gasoline-powered equivalents - even without incentives.

Tesla was the first American auto company to make an IPO since Ford went public in 1956.

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