May. 8, 2014, 3:20 PM
- Tesla Motors (TSLA -10.9%) trades below $180 for the first time in three months as Q1 results from the automaker aren't quite enough for investors.
- Deutsche Bank is encouraged that Tesla improved its cost structure enough to overcome a sequential decline in revenue. The investment firm also thinks the read on pricing is favorable.
- Plans for Tesla's Gigafactory were revealed during the firm's earnings call (transcript). CEO Elon Musk says Panasonic has signed a letter of intent and construction will begin next month.
May. 8, 2014, 9:16 AM
May. 7, 2014, 5:45 PM
May. 7, 2014, 4:22 PM
- Tesla (TSLA) produced 7,535 Model S units in Q1, up from Q4's 6,587 and above guidance of 7,400. The company delivered 6,457 units, slightly above guidance of 6,400 but below Q4's 6,892.
- Tesla expects to produce 8.5K-9K Model S units in Q2, and to deliver 7,500. Leases are only expected to account for ~200 deliveries due to lead times.
- Gross margin was 25.4%, +20 bps Q/Q in spite of a $2M reserve for underbody shield retrofits. GM is expected to improve slightly Q/Q in Q2, and to reach 28% in Q4.
- SG&A spend rose 150% Y/Y to $117.6M, R&D spend rose 17% Q/Q and 48% Y/Y to $81.5M. SG&A is expected to grow 15% Q/Q, and R&D 30%.
- Operating cash flow was $61M, and capex totaled $141M. The full-year capex forecast is still at $650M-$850M.
- The company expects to be "marginally profitable" in Q2; the EPS consensus is at $0.27. Full-year free cash flow is expected to be slightly negative.
- Shares -4.9% AH
- Q1 results, shareholder letter (.pdf)
May. 7, 2014, 4:08 PM
May. 7, 2014, 8:08 AM
- Tesla Motors (TSLA) reports Q1 earnings results after the close today with analysts expecting the EV automaker to show a $0.07/share profit.
- Revenue will be higher than a year ago, but without clean-car credits from California, the company will likely show a slip from Q4's tally. Analysts see a haul of $699M vs. $562M a year ago and $761M in Q4.
- Deliveries of around 6.4K Model S cars to customers in Q1 is expected.
- What to watch: Sales in China won't be included in Q1 results, although a few choice words from the company on early demand could set the tone for after-hours trading. Bulls would like to hear an adjective like brisk or strong. Traders are also anticipating an update on Tesla's Gigafactory plans. Silence about the project could create some worry.
- TSLA +1.4% premarket to $210.10.
May. 6, 2014, 11:35 AM
- Barclay analyst Kristina Church thinks BMW (BAMXY) could pose a competitive threat to Tesla Motors (TSLA -2.8%) with the i3 EV and i8 plug-in hybrid offering different propositions to green consumers.
- The two models sandwich the Model S in terms of target audience and could disrupt the thesis that the Gen III launch is guaranteed to meet expectations, notes Church.
- Early reviews of BMW's electric launch have been favorable.
May. 1, 2014, 3:41 PM
- Automobile sales in the U.S. showed solid gains in April as Nissan (NSANY), Toyota (TM), and Chrysler (FIATY) all posted double-digit sales growth. General Motors (GM) bested estimates with a 6.9% gain, while Ford (F) had a strong pace of truck sales although car sales came in light.
- Pricing and incentives: The industry averaged $2,751 in incentives per vehicle in April, up 8.9% Y/Y and 1% M/M. Japanese automakers (HYMLF, HMC, NSANY) led the promotional charge. The average transaction price was estimated to be 1.2% higher at $32,141. Detroit automakers saw solid pricing trends in most segments.
- Trucks: Sales gains at most major automakers were paced by strong demand for pickup trucks. Gains at Ford (8%), Nissan (10.5%), and Chrysler (34%) stood out.
- 2014 forecast: Demand in April was strong enough to keep a sales forecast for +16M units for the year in place. New models continue to sell well, but inventory levels will be closely watched as investments continue to pour into North American factories.
- CEO transition: Ford handed the reigns to Mark Fields a bit sooner than anticipated today. Wall Street analysts see a smooth transition with Fields strongly aligned with the course already laid out by Alan Mulally. "It's a story of continuity," Fields told reporters today.
- Tesla watching: Tesla Motors (TSLA) could show a year-over-year decline in deliveries in North America this year, forecasts Morgan Stanley. The investment firm isn't panicked over the potential deceleration in Model S sales growth, noting the long-term story of Tesla disrupting the industry still plays.
Apr. 30, 2014, 12:06 PM
- The EPA says the average fuel efficiency of vehicles in the U.S. improved to 24 mpg last year.
- Subaru (FUJHY), Volkswagen (VLKAY), and Mazda (MZDAY) topped the list with fleet-wide averages of 26 mpg or better.
- Chrysler (FIATY), General Motors (GM), and Ford (F) all fell below the industry average due to their higher mix of pickups trucks, while Daimler (DDAIF) kept luxury a priority over slashing weight.
- Tesla Motors (TSLA) boasts a gaudy equivalent efficiency rating of 89 mpg, but didn't sell enough cars to land in the rankings.
- What to watch: The U.S. government wants each automaker to boast a fleet average of 54.5 mpg or better by 2025. If those regulations stands, it will create a need for a higher mix of vehicles powered by electric and fuel cell technology as moves like Ford's to build F-150s with aluminum won't be enough to swing the averages far enough north.
Apr. 24, 2014, 1:40 PM
- A forecast from J.D. Power and LMC Automotive calls for automobile sales in the U.S. to reach 1.1M units in April, up 5% Y/Y.
- The average transaction price in April is expected to be 3.6% higher at close to $29.8K.
- What to watch: Close to half of the new models in 2014 are arriving in the premium segment which will cause new competition as some premium pricing dips down into the levels of non-premium models.
- Automakers: GM, F, TM, FIATY, HMC, NSANY, TSLA, VLKAY, DDAIF, HYMLF, BAMXY, KIMTF, MMTOF, TTM
Apr. 24, 2014, 12:37 PM
- Tesla Motors (TSLA -0.1%) appears to have a friend in the Federal Trade Commission on the issue of the direct sale of automobiles to buyers.
- In a blog post on the FTC website, the agency says it's "bad policy" for consumers accustomed to using the Internet to compare and shop be forced into the dealership network.
- The automaker has run into some roadblocks in several states where powerful dealership associations have been hard to brush aside.
Apr. 23, 2014, 9:26 AM
- Tesla Motors (TSLA) is hiring for a plant in Lathrop, California which it plans to modify and add manufacturing equipment. The site was previously used by Chrysler's Mopar unit.
- The EV automaker has posted opening for 32 jobs at the facility on its website. Most lean to the engineering and technical side.
- Tesla job openings for Lathrop facility
Apr. 22, 2014, 6:56 AM
- Tesla Motors (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk says the company will produce cars in China within three or four years.
- Musk also disclosed the EV automaker is building charging stations in the region at an accelerated pace.
- What to watch: Tesla will need to find a local partner and some support from the government if it wants to build cars in China. That delicate process could take up to a year.
Apr. 21, 2014, 6:33 AM
- Tesla Motors will start making deliveries of Model S vehicles in China this week to fulfill orders which have been piling up since August.
- The entry of the Model S in China comes with the electric vehicle industry in the nation at a crossroads. Though pollution in some large metropolitan cities is as bad as ever, EV infrastructure is still in its infancy in key regions.
- Tesla's (TSLA) Model S is priced at 734K yuan ($118K) in China with shipping charges, taxes, and import duties pushing the electric vehicles deep into the luxury segment.
Apr. 17, 2014, 8:04 AM
Apr. 16, 2014, 9:43 AM
- The U.S. Energy Department plans to offer up to $4B in loan guarantees to renewable energy projects, focusing on advanced electric grid technology and storage, biofuels that can be used in conventional vehicles, energy from waste products and energy efficiency improvements.
- Despite the high-profile collapse of Solyndra, the Obama administration believes most of its energy investments have done well, and it credits the program with strengthening the U.S. solar industry.
- Solar stocks: TAN, JASO, SPWR, TSL, FSLR, LDK, CSIQ, YGE, SOL, JKS, CSUN, SCTY, HSOL, EMKR, SUNE, DQ.
- Battery related names: PLUG, BLDP, CBAK, ZBB, ABAT, ULBI, ENS, HPJ.
- EV cars: TSLA.
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