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Musk Ditches Earnings Calls, Cautions on Chip Shortage After Record Tesla Profits

"For the rest of this year, our growth rates will be determined by the slowest part in our supply chain," Musk told investors on what could be his last earnings call late Monday.

Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc Report shares moved lower Tuesday following a record quarter for the clean-energy carmaker as founder and CEO Elon Musk unveiled plans to step back from taking investor questions after future earnings releases.

Musk also warned investors that the global shortage in semiconductor supplies remains "quite serious" and could impact production rates over the second half of the year, adding that volume growth will depend on the availability of other parts in the global supply chain.

"The chip supply is fundamentally the governing factor on our output," Musk told investors, "It is difficult for us to say how long this will last because [it's] out of our control essentially. It does seem like it's getting better, but it's hard to predict." 

Tesla said non-GAAP earnings for the three months ending in June were pegged at $1.45 per share, up 230% from the same period last year and well ahead of the Street consensus forecast of 98 cents per share. Net income on a non-GAAP basis came in at $1.616 billion, Tesla said, and $1.142 billion on a GAAP basis.

Group revenues, Tesla said, rose 98% from last year to a record $11.96 billion, firmly ahead of analysts' forecasts of an $11.3 billion tally. Gross automotive margins were 28.4%, Tesla said, 300 basis point higher than last year. 

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Tesla shares were marked 2.5% lower in early trading Tuesday to change hands at $641.40 each. 

Tesla also said it took a $23 million impairment hit on its bitcoin holdings over the second quarter and that revenue from the sale of regulatory credits was pegged at $354 million. However, its overall six month profit on its bitcoin holdings was pegged at $128 million, Tesla said in a 10-Q filing published Tuesday.

"This is the last time I'll do earnings calls," Musk added. "Obviously I'll have to do the annual shareholder meeting, but I think going forward, I will most likely not be on earnings calls unless there's something really important that I need to say."

Tesla delivered 201,250 new cars over the three months ended in June, the company reported on July 2, a record total that included the production of 199,360 Model 3s and Model Ys and was a 9% improvement from the previous quarter.

The tally takes Tesla's first half delivery total to around 386,000, leaving it facing the prospect of two more record quarters to reach the Street consensus of 860,000 deliveries for the year.

 "The clear highlight of the Tesla 2Q print was a strong gross margin in the face of challenging supply chain issues – Tesla’s best auto gross margin ex credits since the first quarter of 2017," said Credit Suisse analyst Dan Levy. "The gross margin strength is a reminder of the lever Tesla has to eventually reduce prices so as to spur volume higher."

"Moreover, we continue to believe that the ramp of new capacity in Berlin + Austin reinforces our view for upside to 2022 EPS estimates," he added. "However, amid global supply chain challenges, we are reminded to set expectations appropriately on the ramps of Berlin and Austin, which are likely to ramp more slowly than Tesla experienced with its Shanghai facility."