Tesla (TSLA) Reports Earnings – Losses Pile Up, Shares Down

Tesla Motors (TSLA) reported earnings for the first time since going public today and it didn’t get off to good start.  While the company posted revenues that were about inline with what they reported in the same quarter a year ago and about 40% higher than last quarter, the losses continue to pile up.  The EPS non GAAP loss of -.28/share is the worst in the past two years and may be the worst in company history (need to locate data source that gives quarterly data past two years!)  On the bright side, gross margins improved to 22% from 19% in the previous quarter, but that was offset by higher R&D and expansion costs.

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“We are very pleased to report higher gross margins and steady top-line growth, driven by our best quarter for new Roadster orders since the third quarter of 2008 and our growing powertrain activities,” said Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors. “The Roadster is showing the world that it is possible to drive a beautifully designed, high-performance electric vehicle, underscoring Tesla’s technology leadership position.”

The company announced that the 2012 launch of the Model S remains on track with achievements in design, engineering and manufacturing made during the quarter.  CAD data has been released to external suppliers and testing of powertrain prototypes is underway.  Also announced was the purchase of a factory in Fremont, CA for $42 million which will be home to Model S manufacturing. 

Elon Musk went on to comment on the Daimler and Toyota relationships:  “We were especially pleased to have deepened our relationship with Daimler and established a new strategic relationship with Toyota during the quarter.  We signed agreements with Daimler to develop battery packs and chargers for a pilot fleet of its A-class electric vehicles and with Toyota in July to initiate the development of an electric powertrain for Toyota RAV4 vehicles. In addition, Toyota joined Daimler as a significant investor in Tesla Motors with a purchase of $50 million of our common stock that closed concurrently with our recently completed initial public offering. We believe these relationships are strong endorsements of our industry-leading technology and electric powertrain systems.”

Shares of TSLA are down about 3% in after hours trading.

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