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Tesla reports biggest loss in its history

02 August 2018

Tesla shares rose 5% in after hours trading despite the $717.5m loss, as the company forecast additional increases to its production capacity and profitability in the second half of the year.

During the same quarter a year-ago, Tesla saw its Q2 revenue hit $2.79 billion while posting a loss of $1.33 per share. The company has had to ramp up production of its lower-cost Model 3 auto, even constructing a tent in the parking lot to hit its target of manufacturing 5,000 of the vehicles per week by the end of the quarter. "One example is TSLA's reiterating a Model 3 production rate goal of 6,000 units per week by late August, with a more vague time frame to reach production of 10,000 units per week".

Tesla said it produced 53,339 vehicles in the second quarter and delivered 18,449 Model 3s. Analysts polled by FactSet expected a $2.88 loss per share.

Musk brought key people from the Autopilot self-driving team on the earnings call.

The company laid off nine percent of its workforce in the second quarter as it attempted to become profitable.

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Just as important, Tesla started to see real improvement with Model 3 margins.

Tesla said demand for the Model 3 remained strong.

The company's cash reserves have dropped to $2.2 billion, down from $3.3 billion at the end of a year ago.

"From an operating plant standpoint, from [sic] onwards I really want to emphasize our goal is to be profitable and cash flow positive for every quarter going forward", Musk said.

Musk said it will cost the same amount as systems Tesla now puts in its cars, but will bring much more processing power.

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Tesla also recently announced plans to build a new factory in China, an investment Mr Musk said would be about $2bn and produce about 250,000 vehicles annually.

Adding to intrigue regarding the earnings report, Elon Musk was tweeting about Atari easter eggs included in the next Tesla software update 90 minutes before the report was scheduled. It had ended the first quarter with $3.2 billion in cash after spending $656 million in capital expenses.

Musk made waves on the May call by cutting off questions and calling them "boring" and "boneheaded", which was followed by a drop in the automaker's shares the following day. That's substantially less than the 2017 level of $3.4 billion.

Einhorn, a short seller who had bet against Tesla's stock, also said he would not renew his own lease on a Model S, blaming touchscreen and window problems.

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Tesla reports biggest loss in its history