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Expand chart
Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

That sharp spike you see in Tesla's already-high stock price is what happened Wednesday when the electric automaker reported a $105 million fourth-quarter 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 electric vehicle seller matters a lot for the 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...

  • Tesla expects to remain profitable going forward, with "possible temporary exceptions" around product launches and ramp-ups, it said in the earnings report.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. 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.

Go deeper: Tesla declares 2019 a turning point

Go deeper

Biden to tap telecom trio for NTIA, FCC posts

Jessica Rosenworcel. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

President Joe Biden on Tuesday is expected to name Alan Davidson as head of the telecom arm of the Commerce Department, Jessica Rosenworcel as chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission and Gigi Sohn as a commissioner at the FCC, according to a person familiar with the process.

Why it matters: Internet availability and affordability has been a key policy priority for the White House, but the administration lagged in tapping people for the agency posts that oversee the issues.

15 mins ago - Technology

Facebook seeks fountain of youth

Data: Piper Sandler Taking Stock With Teens Study; Chart: Axios Visuals

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Monday said that the company is pivoting its strategy to focus on young adults, following reports that teens have fled its apps.

Why it matters: A series of stories based on leaked whistleblower documents suggest the company sees the aging of its user base as an existential threat to its business.

Too big to cover alone: Newsrooms team up

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

News outlets are increasingly willing to work together on big, multifaceted stories — including this week's reporting on leaked documents from a Facebook whistleblower.

Why it matters: Collaborative efforts help bring more resources to bear on complex stories, some of which require a global reporting effort. But they require high degrees of coordination, and competition can sometimes get in the way.