Tesla closed a fiscal year with operating and net income for the first time in 2020. Broken down into quarters, the two key figures are now positive for quarters in a row. If you subtract income from the sale of those emissions certificates that Tesla receives from the US and the EU for every electric car sold, Tesla has been making money for the last six months.
That goes from the Wednesday evening published Quarterly and annual figures from Tesla emerged. Nevertheless, the share fell in after-hours trading. Although the company posted a sales record for the fourth quarter of more than ten billion US dollars for the first time, profit is well below expectations. As a result, Tesla shares slide by about six percent. At over $ 800, a share was still worth more than eleven times as much as at the lowest price in the last 52 weeks (70.10).
The quarterly figures
In the fourth quarter of the year, Tesla had sales of 10.7 billion US dollars, an increase of 46 percent year-on-year. Of this, $ 401 million came from the sale of certificates (+ 202%) and $ 8.9 billion from the sale of vehicles (+ 43%). Tesla earned the remaining $ 1.4 billion in quarterly sales with electricity storage systems and solar cells (+ 41%).
Tesla’s operating profit of $ 575 million is 60 percent higher than a year ago but is below Q3 2020 ($ 809 million). Net income is also the second highest in the company’s history: $ 270 million is 157 percent more than a year ago, but less than the 331 million in the immediately preceding quarter. The 180,000 vehicles delivered are a new quarterly record.
In 2020, Tesla had sales of $ 31.5 billion, an increase of 28 percent. Of this, $ 1.6 billion came from the sale of certificates (+ 166%) and $ 25.7 billion from the sale of vehicles (+ 27%). Tesla earned the remaining $ 4.3 billion in quarterly sales with electricity storage systems and solar cells (+ 15%).
Tesla’s annual operating profit is $ 2 billion. In 2019, Tesla had to accept an annual loss of $ 69 million. Net income turned Tesla from a loss of $ 862 million to a profit of $ 721 million. With almost 500,000 vehicles, Tesla has set a new delivery record. The number of own charging stations (2,564) was also higher than ever at the end of the year.
Tesla is cheaper
The company sold its cars in the fourth quarter at an average price of 11 percent less than a year earlier. This is due, on the one hand, to a shift in demand from types S and X to the less expensive types 3 and Y, and on the other hand to price competition in China, which Tesla had to face.
Tesla’s piggy bank is now expanding towards $ 20 billion. The company has also secured a large number of batteries; this is a competitive advantage, especially over new competitors such as Rivian and Lucid. In addition, Tesla would like to start producing a modern cell type in-house in Grünheide in Brandenburg this year.
Less concrete predictions
The prospect of the first Tesla semi-trailer being delivered by the end of the year is also positive. For fans of sporty cars, Tesla is now launching a revised version of the Model S with a plaid drive. It should be the fastest accelerating production car ever. Anyone looking for a fly in the ointment will find it in the growing but apparently loss-making business with solar cells and electricity storage systems.
In the past, Tesla has regularly made predictions about its own development and has not kept it. Management has learned from this and is now making less specific predictions. For example, there is no specific production target for 2021. Tesla only says that it wants to increase delivery figures by 50 percent per year, albeit over a number of years. The new factories in Brandenburg and Texas should go into production this year.