Tesla Motors (TSLA) , as expected, offered plenty of fodder for both bulls and bears in its first-quarter earnings report, establishing a new set of widely ambitious targets that are sure to inspire believers and add to skeptics' concerns that the company is overreaching.
The automaker reported an adjusted first-quarter loss of 57 cents a share, beating analyst estimates, and moved forward its target of manufacturing 500,000 vehicles annually by two years to 2018. The results helped push shares of Tesla up more than $7 in premarket trading, wiping out much of the $9.76 decline on Wednesday that followed word that noted investor Jim Chanos was shorting the volatile electric vehicle manufacturer.
But on a GAAP basis, where items including stock-based compensation expenses and revenue from leased vehicles are adjusted toward accounting norms, the results didn't look so good. Tesla reported a GAAP loss of $2.13 a share, nearly double its $1.22 GAAP loss a year prior.
As importantly, the company noted that the faster production schedule "likely requires some additional capital," with capex now expected to be 50% above its $1.5 billion 2016 guidance, with the company expected to look at debt and equity offerings to cover the shortfall.
The results, as expected, do little to resolve the debate about Tesla's future and instead simply push the argument into the future. Bulls can still point to the company's successful presale campaign for its upcoming Model 3, while bears can question whether that vehicle will be delivered on time and at the promised price and wonder where the money will come from to build it.