Jul 26, 2021 - Energy & Environment

What to watch when Tesla reports earnings

Tesla net income
Data: FactSet; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Tesla is expected to report an eighth consecutive quarterly profit after markets close today, but still faces big questions despite showing it's now consistently in the black.

Why it matters: The company dominates U.S. electric car sales and is a leading player globally too, so its fortunes are both a business story and a climate story.

By the numbers: FactSet estimates the Silicon Valley automaker, solar and storage provider to report adjusted earnings of 94 cents per share and sales of $11.53 billion.

The market data company Refinitiv, per CNN, expects a record net profit of roughly $650 million for the second quarter.

What we're watching: Here's a few things we'll be looking for in the numbers and Elon Musk's evening call with analysts...

1. How much will come from, like, actually selling cars. In Q1 Tesla again brought in plenty of money — $518 million — from selling regulatory emissions credits to automakers who primarily sell gas-powered cars.

2. What's going on with the Supercharger network. CEO Elon Musk tweeted last week that Tesla would make the network, currently open only to Teslas, available to other EVs later this year.

  • But he provided no details beyond noting that it will extend to all countries "over time."
  • It could be a significant revenue source. Morgan Stanley's Adam Jonas, in a note, "conservatively" estimates $2.9 billion in charging revenue by 2030 from only Teslas.

3. Bitcoin's status with Tesla. Musk told a virtual conference last week that Tesla would "most likely" resume accepting the digital currency as payment.

  • “It looks like Bitcoin is shifting a lot more towards renewables,” Musk said, but noted he's still exploring the topic. CNBC has more.

4. The state of the long-planned semi-truck. The freight-mover unveiled in 2017 was supposed to start production in 2019, but that didn't happen.

The site Electrek reported last week that Tesla is "going through its final debugging" of its Nevada assembly line.

5. The state of Tesla's manufacturing and supply chain. Analysts will likely seek information about the status of Tesla's factories under construction in Texas and Germany, as well as how the chip shortage is affecting the company.

6. The rocky road in China. MarketWatch's earnings preview delves into what's happening with Tesla's operations in the world's largest auto market.

They note that "demand concerns have mounted amid a recent recall, consumer criticism, and a growing number of domestic EVs as competition with Teslas."

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