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  • Today, 10:36 AM
    • Analysts are in with their assessments on Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) following the company's Q3 earnings report and updates on initiatives.
    • There is a general consensus that Tesla's ability to record a profitable quarter increases the odds the SolarCity (SCTY +5.3%) merger will be approved, although some skepticism and nit-picking can also be found.
    • "It was a kitchen sink effort to get the third quarter to look good ahead of the deal vote," says CFRA Research analyst Efraim Levy.
    • "Management asserted that it would not need to raise cash, but our model forecasts Tesla ending 2018 with $575 mln, which we think is too close for comfort," maintains Cowen analyst Jeffrey Osbourne.
    • "We cannot help but feel that there are some comparability issues relative to the firm’s reported revenue, gross profit, and net income relative to even those analyst estimates included in consensus," adds JPMorgan to the discussion.
    • Baird doesn't see it as nearly that gloomy, backing an Outperform rating and $338 price target with major catalysts on the calendar (solar roof event, SCTY vote, Gigfactory media tour, Model X reviews).
    • Other investment firms backing their Buy ratings include Credit Suisse ($280 PT), Dougherty ($500 PT), Sterne Agee ($300 PT) and Stifel Nicolaus ($325 PT).
    • Previously: Tesla beats by $0.05, misses on revenue (Oct. 26)
    • Previously: Tesla Motors stays on track with delivery guidance (Oct. 26)
    • Previously: Tesla talks Model 3 ramp during earnings call (Oct. 26)
    • Shares of Tesla are up 4.7% at last check and traded as high as $213.70 today.
    | Today, 10:36 AM | 25 Comments
  • Yesterday, 8:36 PM
    • The Model 3 was a key area of focus during Tesla Motors' (NASDAQ:TSLA) post-earnings conference call.
    • Elon Musk said the company hasn't taken any action to delay the launch of the Model 3. Also of note, the current Model 3 ramp-up plan doesn't call for any capital raise (probably) at all, he added. Missing from the buzz was any update on how many Model 3 reservations are in the hopper.
    • In a statement with some important margin implications, Musk noted the company is selling very few cars with discounts.
    • Musk also described the benefit of a self-driving car-sharing service in response to a question on the Tesla Network.
    • "It would be something that would be a significant offset on the cost of ownership for a car, and a revenue generator for Tesla as well. Obviously, the majority of the economics would go to the owner of the car," he noted.
    • Tesla +4.33% AH to $211.00. A rosy read on the SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY) acquisition helped push up shares of the solar energy firm by 3.55% after the Tesla earnings report.
    • Tomorrow, the Tesla analysts will start buzzing. Stay tuned.
    • Tesla earnings call transcript
    • Previously: Tesla beats by $0.05, misses on revenue (Oct. 26)
    • Previously: Tesla Motors stays on track with delivery guidance (Oct. 26)
    | Yesterday, 8:36 PM | 181 Comments
  • Yesterday, 4:25 PM
    • Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) reports automotive revenue increased 15% Y/Y to $2.15B on a GAAP basis.
    • Q3 automotive margin was reported at 25.0% on a non-GAAP basis (ex-ZEV credit revenue) vs. 21.90% in Q2. Earlier this year, the 25% mark was stated as a goal of the EV automaker.
    • Model S prices fell 6.5% sequentially due in part to a shift in mix. Model X prices were down 1.2% M/M.
    • Q2 services and other revenue rose 78% Y/Y to $150M.
    • Tesla backs guidance for 50K second-half deliveries and full-year deliveries of at least 80K units.
    • Tesla on the Model 3: "We remain on plan for our timing, volume, vehicle capability, pricing,and margin targets."
    • Model 3 volume deliveries are expected to start in the second half of 2017.
    • On the investing side of the ledger, the company's capital expenditures for the last nine months totaled $759M.
    • The cash burn rate is slightly lower than some analysts forecast for the quarter.
    • Tesla shareholder letter (.pdf)
    • Tesla conference call webcast
    • Previously: Tesla beats by $0.05, misses on revenue (Oct. 26)
    • TSLA +6.80% in after-hours trading to $215.69..
    | Yesterday, 4:25 PM | 79 Comments
  • Yesterday, 4:09 PM
    • Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA): Q3 EPS of $0.14 beats by $0.05.
    • Revenue of $2.29B (+144.5% Y/Y) misses by $60M.
    • Non-GAAP EPS of $0.71
    • Shares +1.8%.
    • Press Release
    | Yesterday, 4:09 PM | 219 Comments
  • Yesterday, 12:41 PM
    • TrueCar estimates new U.S. vehicles sales will fall 6.6% in October to 1.36M units.
    • The forecast doesn't adjust for the two fewer selling days in the period this year. Hurricane Matthew was also a negative factor on sales during the month.
    • Rather suddenly, one of the more common words in the automobile sector in relation to sales growth has been "plateau" or variations of the noun. "As retail demand plateaus automakers will be forced to make the critical decision to cut vehicle production or increase incentives,' notes TrueCar analyst Eric Lyman.
    • Incentive spending is forecast to increase 16% Y/Y during October.
    • TrueCar's sales forecasts by automaker are posted below.
    • BMW (OTCPK:BMWYY) -10.7% to 30K units, market share 2.2% vs. 2.1% last month.
    • Daimler (OTCPK:DDAIF) +0.1% to 32.5K units, market share 2.4% vs. 2.3% last month.
    • FCA (NYSE:FCAU) -11.0% to 175K units, market share 12.9% vs. 13.5% last month.
    • Ford (NYSE:F) -9.9% to 192K units, market share 14.1% vs. 14.2% last month.
    • General Motors (NYSE:GM) -8.9% to 239.5K units, market share 17.6% vs. 17.4% last month.
    • Honda (NYSE:HMC) -2.8% to 128K units, market share 9.4% vs. 9.3% last month.
    • Hyundai (OTC:HYMLF) -7.0% to 55.8K units, market share 4.1% vs. 4.6% last month.
    • Kia (HYUMLF) -2.1% to 49K units, market share 3.6% vs. 3.4% last month.
    • Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY) -2.6% to 113K units, market share 8.3% vs. 8.9% last month.
    • Subaru (OTCPK:FUJHY) +0.7% to 52K units, market share 3.8% vs. 3.8% last month.
    • Toyota (NYSE:TM) -1.5% to 201K units, market share 14.8% vs. 13.7% last month.
    • Volkswagen (OTCPK:VLKAY) -16.9% to 43.5K units, 3.2% vs. 3.2% last month.
    • Research firms are likely to include Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) in their monthly forecasts in the future as the EV automaker scales up with increased production of the Model S, Model X and the Model 3 in due time.
    | Yesterday, 12:41 PM | 25 Comments
  • Yesterday, 10:19 AM
    • Sunrun (RUN -2.6%) announces a partnership to launch LG Chem's (OTC:LGCLF) energy storage technology in the U.S. residential solar market; financial terms are not disclosed.
    • RUN says it will offer LG Chem's best-in-class lithium-ion RESU batteries through Sunrun BrightBox solar generation plus energy storage systems.
    • The move will put LG in direct competition with Tesla (TSLA -0.9%), which unveiled its own Powerwalls home battery packs last year; RUN has been using TSLA batteries in its home storage systems in Hawaii, and the latest deal will add LG to its list of suppliers.
    • "Tesla makes all the headlines, but LG manufactures most of the lithium ion batteries," says RUN CEO Ed Fenster, adding that LG's entry into the market will help bring down battery prices and help them make economic sense for more households.
    | Yesterday, 10:19 AM | 57 Comments
  • Tue, Oct. 25, 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.
    | Tue, Oct. 25, 9:17 PM | 73 Comments
  • Tue, Oct. 25, 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 | 48 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 | 28 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 | 224 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