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As Elon Musk shouts into the void, Tesla stock soars with first-quarter earnings and revenue beat

Here’s our first look at Tesla’s bottom line since the coronavirus outbreak was declared a pandemic.

As Elon Musk shouts into the void, Tesla stock soars with first-quarter earnings and revenue beat
[Photo: Dylan Calluy/Unsplash]

Tesla reported its first-quarter earnings today, beating analysts’ expectations with $5.99 billion in revenue and earnings of $1.24 per share. The report marks our first close-up look at the electric carmaker’s finances since the coronavirus pandemic upended much of daily life here on Earth. Tesla’s stock price was trading up by 4% today before the market closed, and it shot up from there. It was up more than 9% in after-hours trading.

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Here are the key numbers for Q1 2020:

  • Revenue: $5.99 billion (versus $5.81 billion expected, per Yahoo Finance)
  • Adjusted earnings per share: $1.24 (versus a loss of 37 cents expected)
  • Adjusted profit: $16 million

Tesla detailed its first-quarter vehicle deliveries earlier this month, again exceeding analysts’ expectations on average with about 88,400 deliveries. But those expectations factored in the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hammered auto sales in the U.S. Back in January, Tesla projected that it would “comfortably exceed 500,000” deliveries for the year. So far, the company has not revised that figure.

The rosy earnings and production numbers come as Tesla’s chief executive, Elon Musk, has been vocally protesting the ongoing U.S. coronavirus lockdowns. Firing tweets into the void yesterday, he said “FREE AMERICA NOW,” “Give people their freedom back!,” and “Bravo Texas!” (in celebration of the state’s reopening plans). Those tweets followed a statement from Bay Area officials, who jointly extended shelter-in-place orders through May 3. The change reportedly disrupted Tesla’s plan to reopen its Fremont, California, factory this week—hence the fit.

With Tesla’s market cap well above $100 billion, Musk is poised to qualify for the first tranche of stock options laid out in his “moonshot” pay package. Reuters broke down the potential “$750 million options payday” here.

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