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  • Yesterday, 9:17 PM
    • It's that time again for Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) to spill numbers and face Q&A from the analyst community. Investors appears confident ahead of the report, with TSLA +3% over the last five sessions.
    • The consensus Q3 EPS estimate on Tesla Motors has drifted down to -$0.04, according to the latest tabulation from FactSet. The Wall Street view just last week was for a minor display of profit from the EV automaker.
    • The difference between a penny profit and a penny loss may be trivial to the long-term outlook on Tesla, but it's still on the mind of CEO Elon Musk.
    • "It would be awesome to throw a pie in the face of all the naysayers on Wall Street who keep insisting that Tesla will always be a money-loser," wrote Musk to his employees just last month.
    • It's likely that Tesla will reiterate guidance for 50K deliveries during the second half of the year and 500K by 2018, but a hanging question is just how many Model 3 orders are in the books (surely someone will ask?).
    • Updates on the Gigfactory, Tesla Energy, SolarCity, Model X run rates and future debt/equity raises are also expected.
    • Investors will also hear from Tesla later in the week when the company hosts a solar roof product event at Universal Studios in Los Angeles on Friday night.
    | Yesterday, 9:17 PM | 41 Comments
  • Yesterday, 5:35 PM
  • Mon, Oct. 24, 1:04 PM
    • Toyota (NYSE:TM) and Lexus topped the annual car reliability survey from Consumer Reports once again. Responses from owners, track testing and safety data were all factored in to generate the Consumer Reports rankings.
    • Buick (NYSE:GM) surprised with a jump up to the third spot on the list, while Audi (OTCPK:VLKAY) dropped a spot to fourth. Infiniti (OTCPK:NSANY) shot up 16 spots to land at eighth.
    • Brands ranking near the bottom of the CR survey included GMC (GM), Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), Dodge, Chrysler (NYSE:FCAU), Fiat, and Ram.
    • Model standouts: Toyota Prius, Lexus CT 200h, Infiniti Q70, Audi Q3, Lexus GX, Mercedes-Benz GLC.
    • CR brand reliability survey
    | Mon, Oct. 24, 1:04 PM | 44 Comments
  • Mon, Oct. 24, 11:52 AM
    • There's plenty of updates expected from Tesla Motors (TSLA +1.8%) on Wednesday when it reports earnings -- including the latest Model 3 timetable, progress on the SolarCity acquisition, Gigafactory production info and the closely-watched issue of capital needs in the future.
    • Oppenheimer also has its eyes on how Tesla plans to report financials moving forward with the switch to GAAP and a resale value guarantee program that's winding down.
    • "We are waiting to introduce adjusted estimates until we see the final version of the new reporting structure, but expect our non-GAAP EPS to move lower," writes Oppenheimer Colin Rusch.
    • Consensus estimates on Tesla's Q3 are for $2.44B in revenue and EPS of $0.07, although several firms are warning along with Oppy of a "noisy" quarter amid the reporting changes. Still, a profitable GAAP quarter is sure to be a talking point during the conference call.
    • SA contributors are in with earnings previews from every angle.
    | Mon, Oct. 24, 11:52 AM | 26 Comments
  • Sat, Oct. 22, 10:42 AM
    • While Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) may have grabbed some headlines this week for its ambitious goals with autonomous driving (SAE level 5), the technology is being widely discussed across industries as a potential future reality.
    • At a real estate conference in New York this week, a panel member called autonomous vehicles the biggest tech news concerning real estate in the last ten years. Some see a future reversal of urbanization trends in a development that could have significant investment implications.
    • City planners and architects are already thinking of next-gen design. A paper titled "Beyond Google's Cute Car" (.pdf version) is a good example of how cities are being reimagined.
    • Then there's this from the man who designed the 2015 Ford Mustang. "The next 10 years in this business is going to be the biggest change and challenge since the turn of the last century when cars took over for horses," said Ford design chief Moray Callum. Ford (NYSE:F) aims to have a high-volume, fully autonomous SAE level 4-capable vehicle in commercial operation in 2021.
    • Self-driving car development is a topic of discussion on FedEx (NYSE:FDX), UPS (NYSE:UPS), Lyft (Private:LYFT), Uber (Private:UBER), Hertz Global (NYSE:HTZ), Google (GOOGL, GOOG), Avis Budget (NASDAQ:CAR), Domino's Pizza (NYSE:DPZ) and Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA). Earnings season is just heating up, but a host of companies -- including OTCPK:TMOAF, OTCPK:DDAIF, OTCPK:VOLVY, MXIM, CPRT,  WBC, GNTX  and XLNX -- have already talked up the trend on their conference calls. GM reports earnings this week and will update on any self-driving Chevy Bolt plans.
    • Looking ahead, insurance companies, chipmakers, truckers and cybersecurity firms (NYSEARCA:HACK) will be firmly in the self-driving conversation.
    • So who has a profitable trade idea off of the evolution of cars?
    | Sat, Oct. 22, 10:42 AM | 217 Comments
  • Thu, Oct. 20, 8:28 AM
    • Shares of Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) are lower in early trading after the company announced it is loading all new cars with self-driving hardware.
    • Elon Musk told reporters last night that he envisions that by the end of 2017 a Tesla vehicle will be able to drive from Los Angeles to New York without the driver touching the wheel. He also said the software system will be built by Tesla and run off of Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) chips.
    • Tesla's timetable is aggressive in relation to the stated plans of some rivals. Earlier this year, Ford (NYSE:F) said it aims to bring a high-volume, fully autonomous vehicle to the ride sharing industry by 2021, while Nissan has a target of 2020 for "commercially viable" autonomous models. General Motors (NYSE:GM) already has a pre-production Bolt EV out in the wild, but hasn't set a specific timetable for a fully autonomous version.
    • Google (GOOG, GOOGL) is the company that has posted the most information about the challenges of the self-driving car initiative. A scan of Google's monthly reports is not a bad way to catch up on the burgeoning technology.
    • Previously: Tesla announces all vehicles to be loaded with self-driving hardware (Oct. 19)
    • TSLA -1.74% premarket to $200.01.
    | Thu, Oct. 20, 8:28 AM | 269 Comments
  • Wed, Oct. 19, 8:10 PM
    • Tesla Motor (NASDAQ:TSLA) announces that all vehicles being produced now will have full self-driving hardware built in.
    • A quick roll-out of the updated version of the company's autonomous platform was anticipated by many.
    • Details on the full autonomy hardware: "Eight surround cameras provide 360 degree visibility around the car at up to 250 meters of range. Twelve updated ultrasonic sensors complement this vision, allowing for detection of both hard and soft objects at nearly twice the distance of the prior system. A forward-facing radar with enhanced processing provides additional data about the world on a redundant wavelength, capable of seeing through heavy rain, fog, dust and even the car ahead."
    • Tesla blog post
    | Wed, Oct. 19, 8:10 PM | 815 Comments
  • Wed, Oct. 19, 5:47 PM
    • Jim Chanos tells CNBC he is still shorting Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) since the company's fundamental story has not changed, and reiterates the combination of Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) and SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY) is "completely perplexing" and "makes no sense."
    • CAT is up ~30% YTD but Chanos claims "the fundamentals by our view have not yet changed... [regarding the real estate and debt bubble in China] the collapse has not happened, the unwind has not happened. That's ahead of us, not behind us."
    • "The supercycle in commodities that peaked out in '11 and '12... was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing," Chanos says. "The overcapacity that exists in mining, mining equipment, construction equipment is serious."
    • On TSLA, Chanos says the company would double its cash burn by taking over SCTY and calls the deal a “big distraction.”
    | Wed, Oct. 19, 5:47 PM | 65 Comments
  • Wed, Oct. 19, 4:12 PM
    • Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) will make its product announcement tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time. Elon Musk indicated that 30 minutes of media Q&A will follow the product reveal. In the past, Tesla has been a little loose with the start times of their events.
    • While conjecture on the new Tesla product started off with talk of Autopilot 2.0, Model Y, Tesla Truck, Tesla Glass and new versions of the Model S and Model X -- Musk tweeted this afternoon that the product is in reference to "Model 3 part two."
    • More to come.
    • Shares of Tesla ended the day up 2.29% to $203.66.
    | Wed, Oct. 19, 4:12 PM | 111 Comments
  • Wed, Oct. 19, 11:35 AM
    • The focus on Apple's (AAPL -0.2%) influence in the automobile sector has shifted away from straight manufacturing to ways the tech company could integrate software, information systems, or automated driving capabilities into next-gen models.
    • The recent developments with Project Titan also raise the stakes on which automakers strike a significant partnership with Apple if the venture makes it past 2017 (the reported AAPL deadline).
    • While many auto industry watchers think major automakers won't convert to the Apple ecosystem across their portfolio, high-end "Applefied" models are seen as a realistic possibility.
    • "A luxury automobile with 'Apple Inside'? That could be hit, and a profitable one yet," writes Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik.
    • SA contributor Bret Kenwell also dug into the Project Titan issue earlier this week.
    • Previously: Bloomberg: Apple scales down automotive strategy, plans to build car postponed (Oct. 17)
    | Wed, Oct. 19, 11:35 AM | 65 Comments
  • Tue, Oct. 18, 2:06 PM
    • Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) has now confirmed that the newly-posted schedule for Model 3 deliveries applies to new orders.
    • The automaker confirmed last June that there are over 400K pre-orders for the highly-anticipated model - a level of demand that has impressed many industry insiders.
    • Shares of Tesla are now up 1.64% for the day. The session high printed earlier was $199.47.
    • Previously: Tesla Motors posts later schedule for Model 3 deliveries (Oct. 18)
    | Tue, Oct. 18, 2:06 PM | 111 Comments
  • Tue, Oct. 18, 1:32 PM
    • Shares of Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) took  a turn lower after a posting on the company's website pointed to a "mid 2018 or later" delivery estimate for new Model 3 orders.
    • Production is now expected to begin in late 2017.
    • It's not perfectly clear yet if the above time frame covers orders on record or orders still to be received.
    • It's all quiet on Elon Musk's Twitter account so far today.
    • The company has a product reveal scheduled for tomorrow.
    • Update: Tesla confirms the schedule applies to only new orders.
    • Tesla is still up 1.38% on the day.
    | Tue, Oct. 18, 1:32 PM | 162 Comments
  • Tue, Oct. 18, 12:45 PM
    • Oil producers such as ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM), Chevron (NYSE:CVX) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) must prepare for radical change as adoption of new technologies like electric cars could happen faster than originally anticipated, according to a new report from Fitch Ratings.
    • "Widespread adoption of battery-powered vehicles is a serious threat to the oil industry," and an acceleration of the electrification of transport infrastructure could create an "investor death spiral" as investors flee the oil patch, Fitch warns.
    • Tesla's (NASDAQ:TSLA) upcoming Model 3 will start at $35K before rebates and begin production in late 2017 and is aimed at a broader market, GM's Chevrolet Bolt starts at $37.5K before government incentives and will be available later this year, and other automakers are offering affordable all-electric vehicles, as Fitch estimates battery costs have plunged by 73% since 2008.
    • Fitch notes that some oil majors have taken steps to diversify their offerings, including Total (NYSE:TOT), which has invested in batteries via its $1.1B purchase in May of Saft Groupe and bought a 60% stake in solar panel maker SunPower in 2011.
    | Tue, Oct. 18, 12:45 PM | 234 Comments
  • Mon, Oct. 17, 2:20 PM
    • Baird backs its Outperform rating and $338 price target on Tesla Motors (TSLA -1.8%). Bordering on the trivial, but the PT is actually just about at the halfway point from the Street high mark of $500 from Dougherty and the $160 pegged by Cowen and Company.
    • The Baird team expects Q3 non-GAAP revenue of $2.408B vs. $2.340B consensus. The forecast for Q3 gross automotive margin is 21.0% vs. 22.22%. The investment firm sees EPS of $0.27 vs. $0.06 consensus.
    • There's a sense that Baird wants to ride the wave on the lightning rod stock, with it predicting that updates on the Gigafactory will serve as a driver of investor enthusiasm.
    • "We expect to hear updates on the production ramp and potential full production capacity of the factory on the Q3 call and at the opening event on January 4," writes analysts Ben Kallo and Tyler Frank. Of course, there's also a product announcement and merger vote to watch this month.
    | Mon, Oct. 17, 2:20 PM | 34 Comments
  • Mon, Oct. 17, 2:03 PM
    • Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) has “potential short-term upside” given upcoming product announcements that may “set up a ‘yes’ vote for the SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY) merger, Barclays analyst Brian Johnson writes in note.
    • Upside may be followed by “downward drift as investors contemplate cash needs” of the combined company.
    • Barclays still expects a fund raise this year despite Elon Musk's insistence to the contrary.
    • Here's a table of TSLA's upcoming events
    • TSLA -1.9% today as is SCTY.
    | Mon, Oct. 17, 2:03 PM | 32 Comments
  • Mon, Oct. 17, 7:06 AM
    • Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) announces it will collaborate with Panasonic (OTCPK:PCRFY, OTCPK:PCRFF) on manufacturing photovoltaic cells and modules from a production site in Buffalo.
    • The company plans to use the cells for a solar energy system that works with the Powerwall and Powerpack products.
    • The venture is contingent on the SolarCity merger closing.
    • Tesla blog post
    | Mon, Oct. 17, 7:06 AM | 101 Comments