Despite putting a new vehicle on the market, announcing another for 2025 and beating Wall Street expectations for vehicle deliveries, Tesla reportedly was not able to shake off its disappointing third quarter.
The Guardian said the EV maker booked US$25.1bn in revenue and posted $0.71 in earnings per share in the fourth quarter of 2023, missing analyst expectations of $25.76bn in revenue and $0.74 earnings a share. Q4 revenue increased 3% year on year from $24.3bn in 2022.
The company also said it expected the growth rate of its vehicle volume to be “notably lower” in 2024 than in 2023.
“Tesla delivered another underwhelming quarter, with a notable miss on automotive gross margins standing out the most,” Jesse Cohen, a senior analyst at Investing.com, was quoted as saying by the Guardian.
The company earned $690m less in the third quarter than what analysts expected after a drop in vehicle deliveries but investors were heartened in early January when the company announced its fourth quarter deliveries of 484,000 vehicles, surpassing its expectation of 480,000. Deliveries in 2023 grew 38% despite a broader drop in demand for electric vehicles across the industry.
“This was an important quarter for Tesla to show strong deliveries with clear momentum into 2024 as demand has upticked since Q3 based on all our global checks,” the paper quoted Dan Ives, managing director of investment firm Wedbush Securities, as saying. “This was a clear win for Musk and Tesla as hitting 1.8m vehicles for 2023 was a major achievement in a choppy macro for EVs.”
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According to the Guardian, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on an earnings call Chinese automakers like BYD “are the most competitive car companies in the world” and he didn’t see an obvious opportunity to partner with them.
“I think they will have significant success outside of China depending on what kind of tariffs or trade barriers are established,” he said. “If there are no trade barriers established, they will pretty much demolish most car companies in the world.”