Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks during the official opening of the new Tesla electric car manufacturing plant on March 22, 2022 near Gruenheide, Germany.
Christian Marquardt | Getty Images
- Earnings per share: $3.22 vs $2.26 expected
- Revenue: $18.76 billion vs $17.80 billion expected
Shares rose as high as 6% in after-hours trading.
Automotive revenue reached $16.86 billion, up 87% from the same period last year. Automotive gross margins jumped to a record 32.9% with Tesla reporting gross profit of $5.54 billion in its main segment. Regulatory credits accounted for $679 million of automotive revenue for the quarter.
Revenue growth was driven in part by an increase in the number of cars Tesla delivered, and an increase in average sales prices, the company said in its shareholder deck.
Early this month, Tesla reported vehicle deliveries of 310,048 for the first quarter, the closest approximation of sales disclosed by the company. Model 3 and Model Y vehicles comprised 95%, or 295,324, of deliveries in the period ending March 31, 2022.
On the company’s earnings call, CFO Zachary Kirkhorn and CEO Elon Musk said that Tesla remains confident that it can grow at least 50% over 2021 numbers. However, the execs noted that the company has lost about a month of “build volume” in Shanghai due to Covid-related shutdowns.
“Production is resuming at limited levels, and we’re working to get back to full production as quickly as possible,” Kirkhorn said.
Despite this slowdown, Musk said, “It seems likely that we’ll be able to produce one and a half million cars this year.” He cautioned that customers ordering now are facing a long waitlist, and some of their orders won’t arrive until next year.
Musk also acknowledged that autonomous driving advances were taking longer than he anticipated.
“With respect to full-self driving, of any technology development I’ve ever been involved in, I’ve never really seen more kind of false dawns where it seems like we’re going to break through but we don’t.” He encouraged people to join Tesla’s FSD Beta program, which requires Tesla owners to buy or subscribe to Tesla’s FSD premium driver assistance package first, then achieve a high driver safety score. (FSD, which costs $12,000 up front or $199 a month, does not make Tesla vehicles fully autonomous.)
Musk declined to give details on a “futuristic” robotaxi that he said the company was now working on in early April. Tesla will hold a robotaxi event next year, he said, and is “aiming for volume production in 2024.”
In its energy segment, Tesla’s solar deployments dropped by nearly half to 48 MW in the first quarter of 2022 versus the same time last year. The company deployed 846 MWh of lithium ion based battery energy storage systems, up 90% from the same time last year, but down from the previous quarter.
The company said declines in solar deployments were caused by import delays on certain components that were beyond Tesla’s control.
Amid inflationary pressures, parts and semiconductor chip shortages exacerbated by the ongoing pandemic and Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, Tesla global vehicle inventory dwindled to a three-day supply in the first quarter of 2022. That’s down from a four-day supply of global vehicle inventory in the previous quarter, and eight-day supply during the first quarter of 2021.
“Our own factories have been running below capacity for several quarters,” Tesla said in its shareholder deck. The company did not give detailed guidance on deliveries going forward, but said it expects 50% annual growth on a multi-year basis, and warned that supply chain constraints are likely to continue through 2022. Musk also said that he believes inflation is worse than reported, and will continue through the year.
Musk’s recent proposal to acquire Twitter was not discussed on the call.