Reviewing TSLA’s fourth-quarter earnings
In the fourth quarter of 2018, Tesla (TSLA) managed to report profitability for the second quarter in a row. On a non-GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) basis, the company’s adjusted EPS for the quarter came in at $1.93. However, its EPS reflected a 33.4% fall from $2.90 in the third quarter of 2018 and a miss on analysts’ consensus estimate of $2.20.
On a GAAP basis, the company’s fourth-quarter EPS were $0.78 compared to $1.75 in the previous quarter.
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Analysts’ estimates for the first quarter
On February 28, when Tesla launched its $35,000 version of the Model 3, CEO Elon Musk said during a conference call, “Given that a lot is happening in Q1, we do not expect to be profitable in the first quarter,” the Detroit Bureau reported.
According to the data compiled by Thomson Reuters, Wall Street analysts expect Tesla to report EPS of -$0.69 in the first quarter, better than its adjusted EPS of -$3.35 in the first quarter of 2018 but worse than its EPS of $1.93 in the fourth quarter of 2018.
In the first quarter of 2019, Tesla’s car deliveries (XLY) surged 110% on a year-over-year basis to 63,000 units. In contrast, Tesla’s first-quarter deliveries fell 30.7% on a sequential basis. These car deliveries included 50,900 units of the Model 3 and 12,100 units of the Models S and X.
Costs related to the Model Y and the $35,000 version of the Model 3 could hurt the company’s first-quarter earnings results.