Updated from 9:24 a.m. EDT to include comments from Jefferies analyst in the 11th paragraph.
Though Tesla pre-announced its first quarter March 31, the company managed to sharply beat Wall Street expectations as sales jumped 83% year over year to $562 million, earning 12 cents per share. The company said it produced 400 or more Model S vehicles a week, recognizing 4,900 cars as revenue. In late March, it said it sold more than 4,750 Model S units.
Tesla shares were soaring 23% to $68.71.Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the Palo Alto, Calif.-based Tesla to earn 4 cents a share on $499.55 million in revenue. One issue that was concerning bears were gross margins, which more than doubled to 17%. Tesla has said in the past its target for 2013 is 25% gross margins, so it appears it is well on its way to that goal. In addition to the strong gross margins, Tesla raised its global deliveries guidance to about 21,000 vehicles for 2013, up from its prior goal of 20,000. Tesla also received some good news, as Consumer Reports gave the Model S a near perfect score of 99, citing the car's power, handling, and interior.