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Tesla Delivered 88,400 Cars in Q1 - Shares Surge in After-Hours Trading

Delivery figures for Elon Musk's Tesla were not as bad as some analysts had feared.
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Tesla shares spiked in after-hours trading on Thursday after it met Wall Street's delivery forecast for Q1. 

Elon Musk's carmaker reported 88,400 vehicle deliveries in the first quarter, which came just shy of the 89,000 analyst consensus according to FactSet. Shares of Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc. Report were up  11% to $504 in after-hours trading after it reported the figure. 

Owing to factory closures and weakening demand for new cars, investors had expected Tesla to deliver fewer cars than it had originally targeted. Some analysts had expected Tesla's first quarter delivery figures to fall into the mid-80,000 range or lower. 

In a press release, the company said it was its "best ever first quarter performance" despite setbacks, but provided no other details on coronavirus-related impacts beyond production and delivery figures. Tesla said it produced almost 103,000 vehicles during the quarter, in addition to the vehicle deliveries. 

The company originally guided for 500,000 vehicle deliveries for 2020, and did not adjust that guidance in Thursday's press release. 

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Given the impacts of coronavirus on Tesla's production and sales, analysts generally view Tesla's target of 500,000 deliveries this year as unlikely. 

Tesla's newly opened Shanghai gigafactory temporarily shut down during the height of the outbreak in China. Its Fremont, Calif.-based main production facility is closed until at least May 3 as the Bay Area tries to flatten the curve of new coronavirus infections. It also sent workers home from a site in Germany where it hopes to open another factory. 

With the pandemic still underway in the U.S. and Europe, it's not certain when demand for new cars will revert to normal. 

In a note late Thursday, Wedbush analyst Dan Ives called the first quarter delivery report a "small victory in a dark environment," noting that demand came to a screeching halt in the second half of March. 

"The big question for investors going forward is around the demand trajectory for 2Q/rest of the year and cash burn as this uncertain consumer environment plays out in the field," he wrote. 

Tesla is expected to report its full first quarter results in late April.