Tesla: Q4 operating income stable – positive cash flow beyond Q1 2019

According to the Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk last year was the most pivotal year in Tesla’s history. Mr Musk commented the year in the shareholder letter conserning 2018 and Q4 figures.

– During our Model 3 production ramp, we went through significant challenges with the battery module line at Gigafactory 1 in Nevada, and later with our general
assembly line in Fremont. Thanks to the hard work and ingenuity of our
manufacturing teams, by mid-2018 we successfully overcame these
challenges and stabilized Model 3 production at high volumes, he said on Wednesday.

Tesla´s  Q4 figures:

– Q4 operating income stable compared to Q3 at $414M, operating margin of 5.7%
– Operating cash flow less capex improved from Q3 to $910M in Q4
– Cash and cash equivalents of $3.7B at Q4-end, increased by $718M in Q4
– Q4 GAAP net income of $139M impacted by $54M non-cash charge
– Model 3 GAAP and non-GAAP gross margin remained stable at >20% in Q4

Elon made his estimates of the Model 3 production this year and commented the production shift.

– Model 3’s production rate progressively improved through Q4, with December 2018 being our highest volume month ever. In our Fremont facility, we are now past the steep portion of the production S-curve, and we expect our production rate to continue to
gradually improve. Every part of the Model 3 production process has demonstrated over a 24-hour period the ability to produce at an extrapolated rate of 7,000 vehicles per week. By the end of this year, we expect to be able to produce Model 3 at this rate on a
sustained basis, he stated.

– In Q4, we delivered 27,607 Model S and Model X vehicles to customers. For the full year, we delivered 99,475 Model S and Model X vehicles, which was in line with our guidance. We recently stopped taking orders for the 75 kWh versions of Model S and Model X and
will focus on the longer-range versions of these flagship products instead, with the recent introduction of a 310 mile range base Model S and 270 mile range base Model X, he reminded.

– In total, we are expecting to deliver 360,000 to 400,000 vehicles in 2019, representing a growth of approximately 45% to 65% compared to 2018. In this range, we are expecting to have positive GAAP net income and to generate positive free cash flow
(operating cash flow less capex) in every quarter beyond Q1 2019. We believe these results will be substantially driven by our restructuring action and the ongoing financial discipline with which we are managing the business, Elon said.

– Our 2019 capex, the vast majority of which will be to grow our capacity and develop new vehicles, is expected to be about $2.5 billion. We believe this amount should be sufficient to continue to develop our main projects, such as Gigafactory Shanghai, Model Y and Tesla Semi, as well as for the further expansion of our Supercharger, service and retail networks. We expect to arrange financing through local banks in China to fund most of the capex for Gigafactory Shanghai, he said.

Tesla published its figures after the Wall Street trading, but the company shares closed higher to 302 dollars, up 3,80 %.

 

Business Tech

Tesla: Focus on standard-range Model 3

Tesla has today published a blog and according to it, the company will cut workforce by 7 % in order to meet the targets regarding the Model 3 production and focusing also more in mid-range models.

-Starting around May, we will need to deliver at least the mid-range Model 3 variant in all markets, as we need to reach more customers who can afford our vehicles. Moreover, we need to continue making progress towards lower priced variants of Model 3.
Right now, our most affordable offering is the mid-range (264 mile) Model 3 with premium sound and interior at $44k. The need for a lower priced variants of Model 3 becomes even greater on July 1, when the US tax credit again drops in half, making our car $1,875 more expensive, and again at the end of the year when it goes away entirely, the CEO Elon Musk writes.

-Sorry for all these numbers, but I want to make sure that you know all the facts and figures and understand that the road ahead is very difficult. This is not new for us – we have always faced significant challenges – but it is the reality we face, he continues.

– As a result of the above, we unfortunately have no choice but to reduce full-time employee headcount by approximately 7% (we grew by 30% last year, which is more than we can support) and retain only the most critical temps and contractors. Tesla will need to make these cuts while increasing the Model 3 production rate and making many manufacturing engineering improvements in the coming months. Higher volume and manufacturing design improvements are crucial for Tesla to achieve the economies of scale required to manufacture the standard range (220 mile), standard interior Model 3 at $35k and still be a viable company. There isn’t any other way, he says.

Tesla shares were trading down, -9,9 % to 312,79 dollars, after the blogging in Wall Street on Friday. Company also reminded that it made 4 % profit during the Q3. The last quarter figures of the year 2018 are not yet published.

– In Q4, preliminary, unaudited results indicate that we again made a GAAP profit, but less than Q3. This quarter, as with Q3, shipment of higher priced Model 3 variants (this time to Europe and Asia) will hopefully allow us, with great difficulty, effort and
some luck, to target a tiny profit, he estimated.

 

 

Lifestyle Travel

Elon Musk: 1 million cars by 2020

 

Tesla Motors (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk said that he still believes the target of 1 million cars by 2020 is relevant. He confirmed his earlier estimate of the growth during the conference call this week.

The company announced last year figures, which stated that the company is
targeting a weekly Model 3 production rate of 2,500 by the end of Q1 and 5,000 by the end of Q2. Tesla is also focused on achieving its target of 25% gross margin for Model 3 after company´s production stabilizes at 5,000 cars per week.

In the company press release Tesla said it will be the best manufacturer of automotive industry. The Model 3 reservations remained stable during the last quarter of the 2017, but in recent weeks the growth has continued. Combined Model S and Model X deliveries increased by 10 % during the last quarter, which was also an 28 % increase from year earlier.

During the last quarter Tesla continued to open new stores and service locations and now there are 330 locations globally. There are 1128 Supercharger stations globally at the moment.

In the outlook statement Elon Musk expects  the company  quarterly operating income to turn sustainably positive at some point in 2018.

 

 

 

Lifestyle

Tesla to fund the growth – 500 million dollars stock offering

Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA) has announced a 500 million dollars stock offering. According to the company release this public offering will accelerate the growth of Tesla Energy, development of the new Model 3 and the Gigafactory.

Underwriters for this offering are Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Chase, Deutsche Bank, Bank of America and Wells Fargo.

Elon Musk, the CEO of the company, will buy shares worth 20 million dollars. The company made the IPO in June 2010 and raised capital worth 226 million dollars. After that the company has raised debt offerings including also the credit line of max 750 million dollars in June 2015.

According to the company interim report in early August 2015 the company said it will expand its network of Tesla Stores, service centers and Supercharges. The new model of Tesla car, the Model 3, is expected to the markets during 2016 and the world´s largest battery manufacturing facility is expected to be ready during 2017. The factory is based in Nevada and the initial investment of the facility and equipment was 5 billion dollars.

Finance Tech