Tesla profit, vague vehicle delivery forecast disappoint Wall Street

Topics Tesla | Elon Musk | Wall Street

The company delivered 180,570 vehicles during the fourth quarter, a quarterly record, even though it narrowly missed its ambitious 2020 goal of half a million deliveries
Tesla Inc's fourth-quarter profit fell short of Wall Street expectations on Wednesday and the company failed to provide a clear target for 2021 vehicle deliveries, sending shares down 3% in extended trade.

 
The disappointing results capped an otherwise stellar 2020 for the electric carmaker led by CEO Elon Musk, with Tesla shares surging nearly 700% over the past 12 months, making it the world's most valuable automaker.

 
Investors had hoped for a significant increase over the company's 2020 delivery goal of half a million vehicles, but Tesla provided only a vague outlook and did not state a concrete delivery goal.

 
"Over a multi-year horizon, we expect to achieve 50% average annual growth in vehicle deliveries. In some years we may grow faster, which we expect to be the case in 2021," Tesla said in a statement.

The company delivered 180,570 vehicles during the fourth quarter, a quarterly record, even though it narrowly missed its ambitious 2020 goal of half a million deliveries.

 
Net income excluding share-based compensation payouts to Musk rose to $903 million from $386 million last year, falling short of average analyst expectations for a $1.08 billion quarterly profit, according to data from Refinitiv.

 
At $10.74 billion, Tesla quarterly revenue slightly surpassed analyst expectations of $10.4 billion.

 
Under Musk's leadership, Tesla significantly expanded its footprint in 2020, bucking a pandemic and economic upheaval with steady sales and profitable quarters and defying long-term skeptics who had bet against the company.

 
But within the auto industry, the race is now on to develop electric vehicles to meet emissions targets and challenge Tesla's market lead.


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