Tesla on Wednesday released its production and delivery numbers for the third quarter, setting a company record and falling at the low-end of Wall Street’s consensus estimates of 95,000 to 100,000.
Here’s the breakdown:
“Our delivery count should be viewed as slightly conservative, as we only count a car as delivered if it is transferred to the customer and all paperwork is correct,” the company said in a press release. “Final numbers could vary by up to 0.5% or more,” the company said in a press release.
The numbers did little to please investors, however. Shares of the electric-car maker sank about 4% in after-hours trading following the release.
As has been the case in many previous quarters, employees’ “highest priority” as the reporting period came to an end was to get keys into the hands of waiting owners. In a leaked email just days before the period’s end, CEO Elon Musk said the company had stood a fair chance of setting a new record and delivering more than 100,000 cars for the first time.
In addition to the leaked email, Tesla also rolled out a new software update to its vehicles. Version 10.0 includes streaming video services like Netflix and Youtube, a karaoke game, and Spotify music.
Perhaps its most attention-getting feature, however, is “smart summon,” which allows Tesla vehicles with the most robust version of the Autopilot driver-assistance system to drive in parking lots without anyone in the car. Owners must be able to see their vehicle to use the feature and are responsible for the vehicle’s actions, Tesla said.
Tesla continued to lose executives in the third quarter as well, continuing the months-long drain of the company’s top ranks. JB Straubel, Tesla’s chief technology officer and longest tenured executive, left following the company’s second-quarter earnings call, to be followed by Jan Oehmicke, VP of European operations; Stuart Bowers, VP of engineering; and Sanjay Shah, senior VP of energy operations.
Now, attention turns to Tesla’s third quarter financial performance, which is expected in late October but the company has yet to confirm a date.
Some Wall Street analysts have predicted a revenue slowdown, the company’s first since 2012. That could make it harder for Tesla to return to profitability even despite drastic cost-cutting measures earlier this summer.
“Even if it meets consensus on deliveries, the question into third quarter earnings will be around margins, plus how the stock reacts with likely the first negative year-over-year revenue growth quarter since 2012,” Dan Levy, an analyst at Credit Suisse, said in a note to clients last week.
Analysts will also be looking for an update on the new factory in China, where Tesla expects to produce vehicles to be sold in the country and avoid further headaches from the US-China trade war. In previous quarters, Tesla has said it’s expected to be fully operational by the end of the year.