As an automobile manufacturer, Telsa isn't profitable yet, and the company stated that it doesn't expect to report a profit in the upcoming earnings release. Investors may receive a surprise beat, but otherwise they will have to remain patient. So why did Tesla report a paper profit? Because of accounting rules and nonsustainable government money. Items included: California zero emission credits (see this Bloomberg article): $68 million Federal/other credits: $17.1 million We can go on, but I covered much of it in my previously mentioned article last week. Besides, the zero emission credits more than offset the profit. If you haven't read yet, the California Zero Emission Vehicle Program credits are a result of a mind-numbing California law that results in other automobile manufacturers, including Ford (F) and GM (GM), paying Tesla so they can sell vehicles in California. The payments come from somewhere, and not from GM or Ford. The payments made by GM and Ford come from increased prices paid by consumers. TSLA Revenue Quarterly data by YCharts
About half of the cars that Tesla makes are sold in California, and each one results in uber-government subsidies.