Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, speaks with CNBC on May 16, 2023.
David A. Grogan | CNBC
Tesla reported third-quarter results after the bell on Wednesday. Shares rose slightly in after-hours trading after the report dropped.
Here’s what the company reported compared with what Wall Street was expecting, based on a survey of analysts by LSEG, formerly known as Refinitiv:
- Earnings: 66 cents per share adjusted vs 73 cents per share expected
- Revenue: $23.35 billion per share vs $24.1 billion expected
The company reported $19.63 billion in automotive revenue and $1.56 billion in revenue from its energy generation and storage business.
During the same period last year, Tesla reported $1.05 in adjusted EPS on revenue of $21.45 billion.
GAAP (non-adjusted) net income for the quarter was $1.85 billion, or 53 cents per share. Total gross profit declined 22% year-over-year. Total operating margin came in at 7.6%, down significantly from the year-ago quarter’s figure of 17.2%.
The company wrote, in a shareholder presentation, “Our cost of goods sold per vehicle decreased to ~$37,500 in Q3. While production cost at our new factories remained higher than our established factories, we have implemented necessary upgrades in Q3 to enable further unit cost reductions.”
Research and development expenses came in at $1.16 billion, up from the year-ago quarter’s figure of $733 million. The company noted it had “more than doubled the size of our AI training compute to accommodate for our growing dataset as well as our Optimus robot project.”
Elon Musk previously revealed that Tesla is rewriting its driver assistance systems, marketed as FSD Beta in the U.S., using an end-to-end machine learning approach.
In its energy business, Tesla deployed 3,653 MWh in energy storage during the quarter representing a 90% increase versus the same period last year, but its solar installations dropped by 48% year over year to 49 MW.
The Q3 2023 earnings call will be Tesla’s first since its previous CFO, Zachary Kirkhorn, announced he was stepping aside. Chief accounting officer Vaibhav Taneja now holds both roles concurrently at Elon Musk‘s electric car company.
Earlier this month, Tesla reported a 7% decline in vehicle deliveries for the third quarter compared with the previous three-month period. The company reiterated at the time that it was still aiming for 1.8 million vehicle deliveries for the full year in 2023.
During the third quarter, Tesla began selling an updated version of its Model 3 sedan, the Highland, which included controversial changes, such as a “stalkless” turn signal. Drivers of the Model 3 Highland, now sold in China and the EU, can touch a button on the steering wheel to indicate they’re about to change lanes or turn, instead of using a stalk to the left of the steering wheel.
During the period ended in September 2023, Tesla also cut prices on some of its EV models in and beyond the U.S., and reduced the price for its premium driver assistance software, marketed as the Full Self-Driving (or FSD) option, or FSD Beta. Tesla does not make a driverless car, and tells its customers to remain at attention and ready to steer or brake at all times.