Oct 24, 2018

Tesla's earnings are under the microscope

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Tesla Motors will report its third-quarter financials this evening and CEO Elon Musk will speak with analysts.

Why it matters: Even by Tesla standards, this will be a closely watched set of numbers. Musk has pledged that the Silicon Valley automaker would become profitable and cash-flow positive in the second half of the year.

  • The company has only had two profitable quarters in its history.

The intrigue: Tesla surprisingly announced the Oct. 24 date for the quarterly earnings report just 2 days ago. Typically Tesla waits a full month after a quarter ends to report. Per LA Times...

"Speculation on social media ran wild, from bulls saying Tesla doesn’t want stellar results to be drowned out by the midterm election, to bears saying the company has bad news and wants the earnings call over and done."

What they're saying: According to the Wall Street Journal, veteran Tesla analyst Michael Jonas of Morgan Stanley said in a note that the early reporting date is likely a good sign for the company. WSJ says Jones wrote...

"Game theory suggests the early/surprise reporting is good news."
“Tesla is at the most critical point in the ramp of its most important product (Model 3) and is arguably at the most critical point of its liquidity/access to capital since it has been a public company."
"Why would Tesla pull forward the introduction of adverse news into the market now?”

The impact: Tesla's share price climbed almost 13% yesterday and rose around 2% in pre-market trading.

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