That sharp spike you see in Tesla's already-high stock price is what happened yesterday when the electric automaker reported a $105 million Q4 profit and offered a rosy take on what's ahead.
Why it matters: Tesla and CEO Elon Musk kick up lots of dust, but the bottom line is that the trajectory of the world's largest EV seller matters a lot for tech's wider adoption — even as competitors ramp up too.
Where it stands: Axios' Joann Muller has lots of good info about the earnings rollout in her full story, but here are some toplines from her piece and yours truly...
1. Tesla expects to remain profitable going forward, with "possible temporary exceptions" around product launches and ramp-ups, it said in the earnings report.
2. Record 2019 deliveries helped drive revenues up 19% over the prior quarter, but profit margins fell because Tesla sold more of the lower-priced Model 3.
3. Its upcoming Model Y compact SUV is ahead of schedule — the production ramp has begun and it plans to start deliveries by the end of this quarter, the company said.
4. Overall, Tesla said full year 2020 deliveries across its product lines will "comfortably exceed 500,000 units."
But, but, but: Battery cell production capacity is the biggest potential bottleneck to growth — as seen in Tesla's decision to not accelerate its semi-truck production beyond limited numbers, Musk said.
- Increasing that capacity is the top priority, he said.
What they're saying: Tesla tends to lurch from good stretches to near-crises, so there are predictably divided views about how to assess the moment. Here's a sampling...
- Via MarketWatch, a Wedbush Securities analyst called the results "potentially ‘game changing,'" in a note that says it could signal a "new era" for Tesla.
- “They are not even remotely out of the woods,” Peter DeCaprio of the investment firm Crow Point Partners tells the Los Angeles Times.
- "At $650, the after-market [stock] price is pretty much divorced from any reasonable underlying math," writes Bloomberg columnist Liam Denning.