Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!
Data: FactSet; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Tesla is enjoying arguably the best stretch of its 17-year history — despite a shambling economy, CEO Elon Musk's latest PR grenades, manufacturing quality concerns, and circling would-be competitors.

Why it matters: Beyond being a fascinating corporate drama, Tesla's success affects the pace of electric vehicle adoption, especially in the U.S., where it dominates what's still a rather niche market.

Catch up quick: Tesla surprisingly announced that it eked out a fourth consecutive quarterly profit Wednesday despite disruptions from the pandemic.

  • That marks Tesla's longest stretch in the black, which paves the way to join the S&P 500.
  • Its stock, already in the stratosphere, is up almost another 4% in pre-market trading.
  • Musk announced a deal to make Austin, Texas, home to Tesla's second U.S. factory to produce an array of models.
  • Oh, and a new J.D. Power survey shows that Tesla owners have a strong emotional bond to their cars.

The big picture: "The results validate the unconventional efforts that Musk made to shore up earnings in the midst of the health crisis that’s expected to leave other U.S. automakers posting losses," Bloomberg reports, referring to Musk's bitter, highly public fight with county officials in California to reopen Tesla's factory despite public health concerns.

What they're saying: "Right now in the [electric vehicle] market, it’s Tesla’s world and everyone else is paying rent, a dynamic shown front and center this quarter," Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said in a note, per Reuters.

  • A New York Times piece ahead of the earnings released points out that new electric vehicles hitting the market are not really breaking through yet.
  • "Over the last year or so, several automakers, including Audi, Jaguar and Porsche, have added heralded new models intended to cut into Tesla’s electric dominance. But they have barely made a dent, at least in the United States," the paper reports.

Yes, but: Axios' Joann Muller's coverage of Tesla's earnings announcement shows why Tesla's profits are a nuanced metric.

  • About 8% of its revenues came from selling regulatory credits to other automakers, up almost 300% from the same period a year ago.
  • The higher income from emissions credits, along with savings on employee salaries during the factory shutdown, helped Tesla turn a net profit for the quarter.
  • But overall revenues fell.

The bottom line: Things could still go south for the volatile Tesla, but for now, for Musk and his company, chaos is not a pit — it's a ladder.

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
Oct 22, 2020 - Technology

Intel shares drop sharply despite mostly solid earnings report

Photo: Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Shares of Intel fell as much 10% in after-hours trading Thursday — after the company posted quarterly revenue and earnings generally in line with expectations.

Why it matters: The chip giant is a bellwether for the PC industry, and small signs of weakness may be playing an outsize role in spooking investors.

Oct 23, 2020 - Economy & Business

Misperceptions may be holding consumers back from buying electric vehicles

Photo by picture alliance via Getty

Analysts and investors are getting ever more bullish on electric vehicles, but with little regard, it seems, for consumer attitudes.

Why it matters: Tightening regulations around the world could indeed shove the vehicle market toward electrics more quickly than expected. But if consumers are reluctant to buy, automakers will have to slash prices and absorb the losses, erasing investors' rosy hopes.

Trump grants flurry of last-minute pardons

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty

President Trump issued 73 pardons and commuted the sentences of 70 individuals early Wednesday, 11 hours from leaving office.

Why it matters: It's a last-minute gift to some of the president's loyalists and an evident use of executive power with only hours left of his presidency. Axios reported in December that Trump planned to grant pardons to "every person who ever talked to me."