Updated at 5:15 pm EST
Tesla (TSLA) – Get Tesla Inc Report posted stronger-than-expected first quarter earnings Wednesday, with record revenues and a big jump in profit margins, as the clean-energy carmaker continues to defy the global shortfall in semiconductor supplies and the surging input costs hammering rivals around the world.
Tesla said adjusted earnings for the three months ending in March were pegged at $3.22 per share, up more than two-and-a-half fold from the same period last year and well ahead of the Street consensus forecast of $2.26 per share.
Group revenues, Tesla said, rose 80.5% from last year to a record $18.756 billion firmly ahead of analysts’ forecasts of a $17.76 billion tally. Around $679 million of that was from the sales of regulatory credits to other automakers, a figure that was up 31% from last year.
Gross automotive margins were 30%, once you strip-away emissions credits, topping Street forecasts of around 28.9% and well up from the 29.2% tally from the prior quarter as the group’s price hikes mitigated rising input costs.
Tesla said on April 2 that first quarter global deliveries rose 67.8% from last year to a record 310,048 units, just shy of analysts’ forecasts of and only 0.5% from the final three months of 2021.
Production actually fell, however, to 305,407 vehicles compared to the 305,840 tally recorded over the final three months of last year, thanks in part to supply chain disruptions and Covid-related closures at its Shanghai factory.
“Challenges around supply chain have remained persistent, and our team has been navigating through them for over a year. In addition to chip shortages, recent COVID-19 outbreaks have been weighing on our supply chain and factory operations,” Tesla said in a statement. “Furthermore, prices of some raw materials have increased multiple-fold in recent months.”
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“The inflationary impact on our cost structure has contributed to adjustments in our product pricing, despite a continued focus on reducing our manufacturing costs where possible,” the company added. “Our own factories have been running below capacity for several quarters as supply chain became the main limiting factor, which is likely to continue through the rest of 2022.”
Tesla shares, which closed 5% lower on the session, were marked 6.6% higher in after-hours trading immediately following the earnings release to indicate a Thursday opening bell price of $1,042.00 each.
Tesla will hold its regular earnings call at 5:30 pm Eastern time, with comments expected from CEO Elon Musk, who who stopped attending the event on a regular basis in 2020.
Musk, 50, is fully in the throes of a $43 billion hostile bid for Twitter (TWTR) – Get Twitter, Inc. Report, which he has hinted could include a tender offer to shareholders at $54.20 each if the board fails to endorse his unsolicited approach.
After Tweeting the words “Love me Tender” to his 81 million followers last week, Musk again alluded to the word ‘tender’ in a Tweet channeling F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1934 novel ‘Tender is the Night’.
The New York Post reported Tuesday that Musk is prepared to put up between $10 billion and $15 billion of his estimated $300 billion fortune to buy Twitter, which he has said is worth $54.20 per share, but is facing difficulty in convincing other investment partners to fund his acquisition.
Earlier media reports suggested that Apollo Global Management has expressed willingness to use its credit investment platform to support any move to buy the micro-blogging website, including Musk’s unsolicited $43 billion take-private proposal.
It must also be noted that today’s date — 4/20 — represents a well-established theme in the world of marijuana legislation, and has been used as a reference by Musk himself on several occasions, both in his current bid for Twitter and his ill-fated Tweet in 2018 that suggested he could take Tesla private a price of $420 per share with “funding secured”.