Oct 21, 2021 - Economy & Business

Tesla is outrunning the supply chain crunch

Data: FactSet and company release; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Tesla, citing a "structural shift" in demand for electric vehicles, reported its highest-ever quarterly profit of $1.6 billion and $13.8 billion in revenues despite supply chain problems.

The big picture: The company's third-quarter report says the chip shortage, port congestion and other woes have affected its factories but argues that "flexibility" and "ingenuity" are a counterweight.

What they're saying: Wedbush Securities, in a note, said Tesla's earnings and deliveries signal "an EV demand trajectory that looks quite robust for Tesla heading into 4Q and 2022."

They estimate the chip shortage has meant 40,000 fewer sales this year than would otherwise occur, but still project around 900,000 for 2021 and 1.3-1.4 million next year.

What's next: Tesla hopes to begin production from new factories in Austin and Berlin by year's end.

But chief financial officer Zach Kirkhorn cautioned that "the hardest work lies ahead in the ramp" and that the factories will "partially weigh on our margins as we work toward volume production."

Go deeper: Tesla Posts Record Quarterly Earnings on Supply-Chain Resilience (WSJ)

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