Tesla smashed Wall Street estimates for revenue and profit in another record quarter on Wednesday, despite a tumultuous few months for its CEO, Elon Musk, and ongoing supply chain concerns.
The electric car manufacturer reported $ 18.8bn in revenue for Q1 of 2022, up 81% from a year earlier. The report beat analyst expectations of $ 17.8bn, sending Tesla shares up 4% in after-hours trading.
“The future is very exciting,” Musk said in a call with investors after the close. “I’ve never been more optimistic or excited about the future of Tesla than I am right now.”
Tesla acknowledged challenges including a large increase in prices for some of its raw materials coupled with supply chain issues have “remained persistent”.
“Our own factories have been running below capacity for several quarters as the supply chain has become the main limiting factor, which is likely to continue through the rest of 2022,” Tesla said in a statement.
Those issues have been exacerbated by Covid-19 outbreaks, chip shortages, and the crisis in Ukraine, which have prompted Tesla to raise prices of its products in China, the US, and other countries.
Investors are closely watching how Covid-induced shutdowns at the company’s “Gigafactory” in Shanghai, which it has cited as one of its main hubs, will affect the rate of deliveries over the next quarter.
Musk said he anticipated deliveries would recover over the next quarter and that Tesla would be able to produce 1.5m vehicles in 2022. “We did lose a lot of important days of production, but Tesla in Shanghai is coming back with a vengeance,” the CEO said.
Wednesday’s report came as Musk took the market on a rollercoaster by revealing this month that he had quietly become a major shareholder on Twitter and then offering to buy the company outright.
There are concerns that Musk may sell some Tesla stocks or borrow against additional Tesla shares to finance his $ 43 bid to buy Twitter.
The results also come amid several legal challenges for the executive and his company. On Wednesday, Musk requested a federal judge allow him to speak freely about a lawsuit accusing him of deceiving Tesla shareholders, which was settled this week. The settlement included a gag order that Musk and his attorneys called unconstitutional. Tesla is also facing multiple discrimination lawsuits.
Investors will be watching to see Musk’s outside interests, including his bid for Twitter, affect the entrepreneur’s ability to successfully run Tesla, said Alyssa Altman, an analyst at the consulting firm Publicis Sapient.
“It is critical that he continues to instill confidence that he has his hands on the wheel and is driving the complex business of Tesla in the right direction,” she said.
In the call on Wednesday, Musk also said he believed Tesla would achieve fully self-driving vehicles in 2022 – a promise he has made in the past but the company has yet to deliver on.
Musk also emphasized the company’s work on TeslaBot – a humanoid robot the company has been developing to eventually function as an in-home assistant or to complete basic factory tasks. Musk said it was his “firm belief” that the robot would someday be “worth more than the car business of Tesla”.