Tesla Earnings Live Updates: Key Investing Takeaways

That’s a wrap! Thanks for joining InvestorPlace as we followed the Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) earnings call in real time.

A black Tesla (TSLA) Model S is parked between rows of charging stations.
Source: Grisha Bruev / Shutterstock.com

If you missed the event, there is no need to worry! You can read all of our takeaways below.

Latest Updates:


That's a Wrap!

[Wednesday, October 21, 6:41 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Well, Tesla has wrapped up another impressive quarter, and investors love everything they have heard. At the end of its earnings call, shares remain up 3.3% in after-hours trading. Here is everything investors need to know.

Pros: 

  • Tesla continues to transform its financial situation. It reported record revenue, earnings per share, operating income and net income. Importantly, this was its fifth sequential quarter of profitability. In the future, this could help it in its quest to enter the S&P 500.
  • The company also continues to provide optimistic updates on its Shanghai, Berlin and Austin factories. Investors likely appreciate knowing deliveries should begin in 2021 from the latter two.
  • CEO Elon Musk and his team have continued to lean into battery solutions and solar. Although the company acknowledged difficulties in further scaling products like solar rooves, it appears that it knows what it must do to address those roadblocks.
  • The company has also reaffirmed its commitment to produce the low-cost, $25,000 car.
  • Investors did get a few Cybertruck hints. Musk said deliveries could begin as early as 2021, which should have fans excited.

Cons: 

  • Many investors went into the Tesla earnings call hoping for some off-the-cuff ramblings about Tesla Battery Day. While Musk did discuss the highs of the event, he was guarded. Investors didn’t get any further insight on the million-mile battery or solid-state improvements.
  • Similarly, Musk was careful in choosing his words about the Cybertruck and Tesla Semis. Investors want answers, especially with the all-electric Hummer from General Motors (NYSE:GM) now in the EV world.
  • The company also refrained from providing 2021 guidance, which is not at all unusual given that this was the Q3 call. However, because Musk is from usual, many investors were hopeful for more forward-looking statements about Tesla’s future.
  • Musk also pushed back on plans to spin off some of its businesses. While not all investors want to see that happen, some are surely hoping to see its battery or solar businesses become their own powerful, publicly traded entities.

Musk: We 'Have 10% in Common With Other Car Companies'

[Wednesday, October 21, 6:32 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

CEO Elon Musk once again leaned into a common debate between bulls and bears. The question at the heart of it: Is Tesla a car company or a tech company?

In response, Musk said that the company has about 10% in common with other companies. The biggest differentiators come from the vertical integration that the CEO has touted so much during the earnings call. It handles its own sales, insurance, manufacturing, solar, battery and self-driving solutions, giving it a different identity in the stock market than traditional automakers.

Investors should note this moving forward. While Tesla’s key product remains its vehicles, many bulls believe that its other solutions will be what takes it to a trillion-dollar company in the future.


Tesla Stock Remains Up 3.4%

[Wednesday, October 21, 6:28 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

The excitement has not faded. We are almost an hour into the Tesla earnings call and shares are still up 3.4% in after-hours trading.


Tesla Must Address Cell Constraints to Ramp Semi Development

[Wednesday, October 21, 6:27 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Tesla says it is continuing to develop its semitruck, and it will need to produce something much more powerful to charge these trucks. The goal will be to eliminate any time wasted to charge the trucks.

  • The company is also working with third-party partners to standardize the infrastructure.
  • Tesla says it has to invent something completely new, but it is not working isolation.
  • CEO Elon Musk says that another challenge here is that the company is cell constrained. Before it can ramp up the semitruck, it must solve this cell constraint.
  • Musk also says that its semitruck business could be “material” to the freight world.

Why it matters: Investors continue to pay close attention to electric truck options from Nikola (NASDAQ:NKLA) and Hyliion (NYSE:HYLN). Although those companies have been hot on their electric freight promises, Tesla has stronger brand loyalty and more dominance in the niche.


Cybertruck: Deliveries Could Begin in 2021

[Wednesday, October 21, 6:19 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Here is what investors can expect from the Cybertruck:

  • CEO Elon Musk says the company continues to tweak the Cybertruck, and that customers can expect it to be even better than the version that was unveiled.
  • The timeline for production and scale will be largely dependent on the timing of the Austin factory coming online.
  • Another barrier to overcome is the new tech involved in the Cybertruck, including its skeleton.
  • An optimistic goal would see Cybertruck deliveries by the end of 2021, and a lot of deliveries in 2022.

Why it matters: Investors and analysts are paying close attention to the Cybertruck, especially as General Motors (NYSE:GM) continues to generate buzz from its recently unveiled all-electric Hummer.


Insurance Products: Low Capital, High Returns

[Wednesday, October 21, 6:16 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

CEO Elon Musk said that one of the company’s goals is to spend as much money as possible without wasting it. Part of this is trying new products, bringing new things in house and expanding rapidly.

According to the CEO, new products designed to help Tesla drivers get in-house insurance are a perfect example of this. These products were developed in house, aligned with the cars and now allow Tesla to make more money off its vehicles and its customers.


There Will Be No Dependency on Internal Cell Production in 2021

[Wednesday, October 21, 6:08 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Tesla faces quite a few manufacturing and scale challenges in the coming months. It is rolling out new models, opening up new factories and improving its battery technology.

In order to avoid bottlenecks in this process, Tesla said it will not be dependent on internal cell production in 2021, and instead it will use any internal cell production as supplementary. However, that will change in 2022.

Why it matters: Investors love all of the exciting new tech, but they want to see things come through the pipeline and scale up to meaningful levels of production. It may be reassuring to know that Tesla has thought through potential bottlenecks and is planning ahead.


Tesla 'We Need to Approve Affordability'

[Wednesday, October 21, 6:04 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

CEO Elon Musk once again revisited the idea of affordability and accessibility — the company wants to make sure more consumers can afford its vehicles. This ties into an announcement from the Tesla Battery Day event, at which the company shared it would be producing a $25,000 vehicle.

Why this matters:

  • More and more consumers want electric vehicles, but not everyone can afford its higher-end models.
  • With a Democratic White House likely, the company could see increased federal support if makes green vehicles more accessible.
  • Musk also said that margins on company vehicles are impressive.
  • The company is making the cars better, reducing production costs, improving their overall value and working to selling them at better prices.

Tesla: No Plans to Spin Anything Out

[Wednesday, October 21, 6:01 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

During Tesla’s earnings call, some retail investors were interested in whether the company would consider spinning out its businesses. Think about it. It already has been quite successful in solar and battery innovations, and some would like to see those succeed as independent businesses.

However, it sounds like CEO Elon Musk prefers to keep the company structured as what he sees as an interlocking series of startups. Because of its structure, he says the company has a lot of independence and autonomy. Importantly, he also believes that each of these startups — even ones that have been slower to grow — have been successful.

For investors, it looks like all that Tesla has to offer will stay wrapped up in one bundle with TSLA stock for now.

One more note: This question likely matters more than usual in the context of news from General Motors (NYSE:GM). Following the unveiling of its all-electric Lyriq and Hummer models, many analysts are speculating that the company could spinout its electric vehicle business into a separate entity.


What Will It Take to Ramp Solar Roofs?

[Wednesday, October 21, 5:55 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

As Tesla’s solar roofs continue to gain dominance — and became an even cheaper option for consumers in the United States — many investors are interested to see what it will take to ramp up the installation process. During the third-quarter earnings, the company shared that it had been able to demonstrate a roughly 1.5-day installation.

So, what will it take to ramp up this installation even more?

  • The biggest constraint in solar roofs is getting enough installers on board and trained.
  • The company has continued to hire those installers.
  • Tesla also needs to improve packaging and kitting for the solar roofs, to make it easier for installers to ramp up solar roof installation time.

Powerwall Orders Continue to Climb

[Wednesday, October 21, 5:50 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Tesla says that its solar and battery solutions are also in high demand. In fact, the company say it has a growing backlog of orders for Powerwall, one of its residential solar products.

This is in line with what investors were hoping for — proof that the company will grow its leadership in the red-hot solar space. Importantly, with former Vice President Joe Biden pulling ahead in the polls, this is a good sign that Tesla could benefit from a Democratic victory.


Tesla Says It Will Aim to Achieve 500,000 Deliveries in 2020

[Wednesday, October 21, 5:48 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Tesla says it is focusing on five key goals for the rest of the year:

  • Increasing production.
  • Decreasing costs, including through localization.
  • Tightening cash conversion cycle.
  • Improving efficiency.
  • Aiming to achieve 500,000 deliveries for 2020 guidance.

Tesla Hits Fifth Quarter of Sequential Profitability

[Wednesday, October 21, 5:44 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Tesla has reported its fifth quarter of sequential profitability.


Berlin, Austin Gigafactories to Start Delivering Cars Next Year

[Wednesday, October 21, 5:42 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Tesla has confirmed that its three newest factories — in Shanghai, Berlin, and Austin — are all ramping up. Production of and deliveries from the Shanghai factory are growing. Importantly, the Berlin and Austin factories, which are still under construction, offer investors a lot of hope.

Although they will face issues scaling up once they open, the company plans to begin delivering vehicles from its two newest factories in 2021.

As demand for electric vehicles increases, it is crucial for investors that Tesla be able to fulfill that demand. With three new factories on the grid, it should be able to do just that.


Tesla Plans to Start 'Slow' and 'Cautiously' With FSD Beta

[Wednesday, October 21, 5:39 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Tesla used some time during the earnings call to thank the team behind the full self-driving pilot, sharing that there should be a wide release of the new autopilot features by the end of this year.

This likely is exciting to investors, who were hoping for more concreate information on the secretive beta program. The earnings call has confirmed that Tesla remains a leader in self-driving cars, especially as rivals Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) ramp up their self-driving fleets in China and the U.S.


'Q3 Was the Best Quarter in Our History'

[Wednesday, October 21, 5:35 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Tesla shares that it has had a record quarter — the best in its history.


TSLA Stock Climbs 3.4%

[Wednesday, October 21, 5:19 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

With just 10 minutes to go until the third-quarter conference call, Tesla stock is up 3.4% in after-hours trading.


Earnings Per Share Grow 105% From Last Year

[Wednesday, October 21, 5:14 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Tesla has reported better-than-expected figures for revenue and non-GAAP earnings per share. Take a look at the numbers:

  • EPS: 76 cents, an increase of 105% year-over-year.
  • Revenue: $8.77 billion, an increase of 39% year-over-year.
  • Operating income: $809 million, an increase of 210% year-over-year.
  • Net income: $874 million, an increase of 156% year-over-year.

Tesla Stock Climbs 2.6%

[Wednesday, October 21, 4:53 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

With less than hour to go until the Tesla earnings event, TSLA shares are up 2.6% in after-hours trading.


Tesla Q3: Numbers to Watch

[Wednesday, October 21, 4:52 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

We already know investors are hoping for updates on solar projects, battery storage and the full self-driving beta rollout, but it is also important to take a look at the numbers.

With just an hour to go until the Tesla earnings call, what are analysts expecting?

  • EPS: Analysts are calling for earnings per share of 56 cents, a 51% year-over-year increase.
  • Revenue: Consensus estimates call for revenue of $8.26 billion, up 31% year-over-year.

Those are not numbers to scoff at. In just the last few months we have seen the company hit all-time high delivery figures and announce innovations that could transform the energy landscape. Now, CEO Elon Musk just make sure his darling company remains profitable.

Clearly, Wall Street thinks he can do just that. A handful of analysts have bumped their 12-month price targets on TSLA stock leading up to the earnings event:

  • Wedbush analyst Dan Ives bumped his target from $475 to $500.
  • Goldman Sachs analyst Mark Delaney reiterated his price target of $450.

Think of Biden While Buying Tesla

[Wednesday, October 21, 3:42 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

CEO Elon Musk has confusing — and often contentious — personal politics. He has backed both Andrew Yang and Kanye West, and has also publicly flirted with the idea of voting for President Donald Trump. Despite this, TSLA stock is often considered one of the best stocks to buy if former Vice President Joe Biden ends up in the White House.

That message was echoed exactly by InvestorPlace contributor Chris Tyler today — and it is increasingly more relevant. Tomorrow Biden and Trump will face off in the last presidential debate. One of the top talking points? Climate change. Fighting climate change is at the core of what Tesla is all about. In fact, Musk has made patents more easily available for other automakers, and the company is even focusing on lower-cost vehicles to convert more customers to the green life.

As investors wait for the company to provide updates on its solar and battery storage innovations, keep a potential Biden victory in mind. Anything the company says that would align with the wishes of the Democratic candidate could turn into a bright blue tailwind.


Tesla Rolls Out Full Self-Driving Beta Ahead of Q3 Earnings

[Wednesday, October 21, 3:06 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

We have just hours to go until Tesla unveils its third-quarter earnings and CEO Elon Musk is already generating hype. With pre-earnings excitement and a quick tweet, TSLA stock is up 1.4% and climbing in intraday trading.

According to the CEO, the company will roll out its full self-driving beta tonight. What does that mean?

In recent months, Musk has been promising improvements to existing autopilot features. As Fred Lambert wrote for Electrek, this likely entails the system processing its environment in 4D instead of 2D, as well as the ability for it navigate city streets and highways without driver input.

Investor demand for autonomous vehicles has been growing rapidly in recent weeks. While it is very unlikely we will soon see fleets of autonomous Tesla models, what will happen is a slow rollout. Starting with customers the company has identified as exceptionally responsible, the FSD beta test will experiment on building up autonomous features. This could mean big things for the company, especially as Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) continue to ramp up improvements in the world of self-driving cars.

Look for more updates on the FSD beta tonight.


3 Big Things to Watch Ahead of Tesla Earnings

[Wednesday, October 21, 2:58 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Tonight Tesla and CEO Elon Musk will be working to impress the bulls, spite the bears and prove to everyone just how powerful the electric vehicle leader really is.

As in recent quarters, investors will be paying close to the financials. Tesla is finally profitable, and Wall Street will want to see the company build on its recent success. Keep a close eye on earnings per share and revenue figures, as well as its quarterly vehicle deliveries. But beyond that, there are a few other items you should be watching.

  1. Solar, solar, solar. Especially with Wall Street betting on former Vice President Joe Biden, solar stocks have been incredibly hot in recent weeks. Tesla dominates in solar — offering the cheapest prices for residential use. In fact, as InvestorPlace Markets Analyst Luke Lango wrote yesterday, this clean energy business could be responsible for TSLA stock hitting $1,000. It already is considered the market winner in EVs, so why not solar panels too?
  2. Battery Day revelations. Elon Musk and his team wowed the world during a recent battery-focused shareholder event. However, Tesla stopped short of unveiling a million-mile battery. Will tonight be a chance for investors to get a closer look at everything that is going right with its battery innovations? Some insiders think so.
  3. New models, especially the Cybertruck. Last night General Motors (NYSE:GM) made headlines when it unveiled its all-electric Hummer, which has a launch date in 2021. Now the pressure is on for Tesla and its Cybertruck. We all know Musk is not one to be humble, or to back away from a challenge. Will the contentious CEO give a favorable update on the futuristic pickup truck tonight?

Stay tuned. No matter what happens tonight, it feels like investors are in for a treat.

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