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Tesla Blasts Q3 Earnings Forecasts, Posts Record $13.76 Billion In Revenues

Tesla smashed Wall Street's third quarter earnings forecasts, while posting record revenues of $13.76 billion and one of the strongest profit margins in the group's history.

Tesla Inc.  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc Report posted stronger-than-expected third quarter earnings Wednesday, while notching one of the strongest profit margins in the group's history, as the clean-energy carmaker continues to defy the impact of a slowdown in China vehicle demand and the global shortage in semiconductors. 

Tesla said non-GAAP earnings for the three months ending in September were pegged at $1.86 per share, up 135% from the same period last year and well ahead of the Street consensus forecast of $1.59 per share. Net income on a non-GAAP basis came in at $2.093 billion, Tesla said, and $1.618 billion on a GAAP basis.

Group revenues, Tesla said, rose 56.8% from last year to a record $13.757 billion, firmly ahead of analysts' forecasts of an $13.6 billion tally. Gross automotive margins were 30.5%, Tesla said, 290 basis point higher than last year and up from 28.4% over the previous quarter.

The group will host its earnings conference call at 5:30 PM Eastern time, although founder and CEO Elon Musk told investors in July that he may not be a regular participant unless he has “something really important” he would need to say.

"EV demand continues to go through a structural shift. We believe the more vehicles we have on the road, the more Tesla owners are able to spread the word about the benefits of EVs," the company said in a statement. "While Fremont factory produced more cars in the last 12 months than in any other year, we believe there is room for continued improvement. Additionally, we continue to ramp Gigafactory Shanghai and build new capacity in Texas and Berlin."

"A variety of challenges, including semiconductor shortages, congestion at ports and rolling blackouts, have been impacting our ability to keep factories running at full speed," the statement continued. "We believe our supply chain, engineering and production teams have been dealing with these global challenges with ingenuity, agility and flexibility that is unparalleled in the automotive industry."

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Tesla shares were marked 0.55% lower in extended-hours trading immediately following the earnings release, indicating a Thursday opening bell price of $861.00 each.

In the midst of a call from Musk to "go hardcore" over the final weeks of the quarter, Tesla delivered a record 241,300 new cars over the three months ended in October, the company said, up 73.2% from last year and nearly 20% higher than the 201,250 reached in the second quarter. 

The third quarter total was comprised of 323,025 Model 3 and Model Y sedans, Tesla said, and 9,275 of its higher-priced Model S and Model X. Analysts were looking for an overall total of around 230,000.

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Earlier this month, Tesla also unveiled plans to move its headquarters from California, its home for nearly two decades, to Texas, the site of its developing gigafactory and the home of SpaceX.

The decision, announced at the company's annual meeting in San Francisco, follows both Musk' personal move to the Lone Star State and a series of rows between the carmaking billionaire and the California authorities over issues including safety, taxes and COVID-19 precautions.

Musk also pledged to maintain the group's Freemont, California-based plant, adding he hoped to boost production there by 50% over the coming years.