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Tesla Back in Consumer Reports’ Good Graces

Models S, X rewarded for return of auto-braking.

by on May.24, 2017

Tesla temporarily disabled auto-braking when it revised its hardware before finish a software upgrade.

After slamming the automaker for some serious concerns over safety, Consumer Reports has upgraded two of Tesla’s battery-electric vehicles.

The non-profit publication slammed both the Tesla Models S and X last month when it discovered the recently updated EVs did not have working automatic emergency braking, or AEB, systems – something that was offered on the older versions of the electric sedan and SUV. Using over-the-air updates, however, Tesla has activated that technology on the newer models.

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“It’s uncommon for a newer vehicle to be less capable than an older vehicle, especially when it comes to safety,” said CR’s director of automotive testing, Jake Fisher.


Tesla Reports Bigger 1Q Loss Than Expected

But production hits record; revenues beat forecast.

by on May.03, 2017

Investors continue to drive up Tesla shares, betting on the success of the upcoming Model 3.

Despite record production and deliveries – and a surging stock price – Tesla managed to disappoint on Wednesday by reporting a bigger loss than analysts had been forecasting – though revenues for the first quarter of 2017 did manage to beat expectations.

The Silicon Valley battery-carmaker reported a loss of $1.33 a share, significantly worse than the 81 to 83-cent loss various tracking firms had Wall Street trackers predicting. The company has turned a quarterly profit – using non-standard accounting – only twice since it went public.

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The news wasn’t entirely disappointing. Tesla’s revenues for the January-through-March quarter came in at $2.70 billion, about $90 million above expectations. Production, the company said, was up by 64%, year-over-year. And Tesla previously had reported that it delivered 25,051 vehicles during the quarter, an all-time record, with a target of 50,000 battery-cars for the first half.


Tesla on Top, Now Most Valuable U.S. Automaker

"It's one of the strangest things I have ever seen."

by on Apr.10, 2017

Tesla CEO Musk can now afford a shirt with sleeves, as his stock soars to a new record.

Tesla is the new king-of-the-hill, after a week giving chase to long-time industry leader General Motors, the Silicon Valley upstart wound up narrowly squeaking into the lead, a nearly $51 billion market capitalization running just ahead of GM’s as trading on the New York Stock Exchange closed Monday afternoon.

Tesla had seemed poised for more than a week to take the lead, having already nudged past Ford Motor Co. earlier in the month. But Monday brought the Wall Street equivalent of a close horse race, GM and Tesla trading the lead almost by the hour. Finally, as the bell range, the EV maker had a closing stock price of $312.39, a $9.85 gain for the day, leaving it valued at $50.95 billion, while GM closed up $0.26 a share, at $33.97, with a market cap of $50.89 billion.

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The surge in Tesla’s market performance comes at a critical time for the Silicon Valley automaker, which little more than a month ago had warned its finances were “on the edge” as it continued its costly investment in the launch of the new Model 3. The midsize electric vehicle, Tesla’s first priced by the mainstream, is set to go into production in July.


Wall Street Throws Tesla a Lifeline

Stock offering does better than expected.

by on Mar.17, 2017

Tesla needed cash to ensure the Model 3 launch.

Despite growing concerns among industry analysts, investors haven’t given up on Tesla. Anything but.

Wall Street came up with another $1.2 billion in capital for the Silicon Valley battery-carmaker this week as it went back for an infusion aimed at helping complete development of the critical new Model 3 SUV set to go into production in July. And it’s possible the figure could climb to $1.4 billion.

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The latest stock offering went off barely a year after Tesla’s previous turn to the market, and was meant to “reduce any risks associated with the rapid scaling of (our) business due to the launch of Model 3, as well as for general corporate purposes,” the company said. It also came just weeks after Tesla CEO Elon Musk warned that the maker’s finances were “getting very close to the edge.”


CEO Musk: Tesla Won’t Disable Autopilot Feature

NTSB latest to launch investigation after three crashes.

by on Jul.13, 2016

Tesla CEO Musk won't pull the plug on Autopilot and, if anything, insists it will enhance safety.

Despite growing concerns about the safety of its Autopilot technology, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk is making it clear he has no intention of disabling the semi-autonomous driving system. If anything, the South African-born entrepreneur argues that Autopilot will save lives in the long-run.

Not everyone is quite so confident, at least not in its current beta mode.  The battery-carmaker itself has confirmed the technology played at least some role in a fatal crash on May 9, and two Tesla owners have since blamed Autopilot for crashes that have occurred this month.

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched a preliminary investigation following the Florida accident that killed former Navy SEAL Joshua Brown. The National Transportation Safety Board is now conducting its own investigation. Separately, the Securities and Exchange Commission is looking at Tesla’s decision not to publicly reveal the fatal crash for eight weeks – until after the maker’s latest, $2 billion stock offering.


Tesla Model 3: Hit or Hype?

Advance reservations pass 250,000 -- but will they actually translate into sales?

by on Apr.04, 2016

Tesla says the base Model 3 will get 215 miles per charge - and start at $35,000.

Even before the new Model 3 sedan was unveiled late last Thursday, Tesla Motors said it had logged more than 100,000 advanced orders. And as of the following Monday morning, the Silicon Valley carmaker claimed the figure had topped 250,000 – a number that would translate into more than $10 billion in retail sales.

The surge of interest is unprecedented in the auto industry, resembling more the sort of frenzy that has greeted the launch of a new Apple iPhone. But at this early stage, at least 18 months before the first car is scheduled to roll off the assembly line, can the new Tesla Model S be considered a hit, or a case of battery-powered hype?


That’s a question which few industry observers seem to agree upon. Investors have clearly been impressed, driving Tesla’s stock price up by over $15 a share since the hours before the electric sedan’s unveiling. That run-up comes despite the warnings issued by some key analysts.


Bear Market Bites Tesla

Analysts and investors grow skeptical as EV maker prepares 2015 earnings report.

by on Feb.10, 2016

A scene from the new Tesla ad, Serious Wonder, featuring the voice of Nikola Tesla.

Tesla got a much-needed, albeit small bump on Wall Street Tuesday, but shares of the maverick battery-carmaker have been trading near a two-year low ahead of the company’s fourth-quarter earnings announcement.

The stock is down by more than a third since the beginning of the year, a downturn significantly more severe than the bearish turn the overall stock market has been experiencing, and a sign of increased concern by key analysts like Barclay’s Brian Johnson. On Tuesday, he cut his forecast from $180 to just $160 a share.

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There are still a handful of analysts who rate Tesla a “Buy,” and even a “Strong Buy,” but the mood has turned sharply in recent months, Stifel’s James Albertine summing up by cautioning, “We see few catalysts to turn short-term bears bullish.”


Tesla Beats Forecast – Still Loses $75 Mil in Q3

Investors rally despite loss.

by on Nov.03, 2015

The third quarter saw the long-awaited, and long-delayed, launch of the Model X battery SUV.

Tesla Motors managed to beat analysts’ forecasts for the third quarter, but still delivered an adjusted, $75 million loss for the third quarter, or 58 cents a share. Nonetheless, that was two cents better than what was expected, according to S&P Capital, sending Tesla stock up in after-hours trading.

The net loss, using more conventional GAAP procedures, came to $229.9 million for the July to September quarter, or $1.78 a share, compared with a $74.7 million deficit, or 60 cents a share, a year earlier.

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The announcement comes at a critical time for Tesla. The maker just launched its second product line, the Model X battery-electric SUV. And it has begun rolling out its new AutoPilot system which permits semi-autonomous freeway driving. But the maker also took some recent hits from a key consumer group over ongoing reliability problems.


Tesla Stock Sale Exceeds Expectations

Battery-carmaker exceeds expectations by nearly 50%.

by on Aug.21, 2015

Tesla is finally ready to launch the delayed Model X.

Tesla Motors has gotten an even bigger cash cushion than it anticipated. Worried that its cash horde was dwindling due to the unexpectedly high cost of developing the new Model X battery SUV, the California maker had hoped to raise about $500 million through a new stock offering.

But as underwriters wrap up their efforts they have announced that Tesla actually brought in $738.3 million, or nearly 50% more than originally anticipated. That said, the company might have generated even more cash had its stock not taken a bit of a tumble in recent months.

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The secondary stock offering came in the wake of a second-quarter earnings report that revealed the carmaker had only $1.5 billion in cash, a 57% year-over-year decline. It has been burning through cash due to what CEO Elon Musk acknowledged was an unexpectedly “challenging” development program for the long-delayed Model X.


Tesla Deliveries Fall Short as EV Maker Cuts Outlook

But overall loss slightly less than expected.

by on Aug.05, 2015

Despite two price hikes, Tesla saw a jump in Model S orders - but cut its full-year forecast.

Tesla had some mixed news for investors as it revealed its second-quarter results Wednesday afternoon. The maker’s loss was less than anticipated by industry analysts, but the maker fell short of expected vehicle deliveries and cut its forecast for the full year.

The news sent the California battery-carmaker’s shares tumbling in after-hours trading. A critical test in the coming months will be the long-overdue roll-out of the Model X sport-utility vehicle, which Tesla CEO and founder Elon Musk acknowledged was “challenging.”

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“Some things are particularly challenging,” he said during a conference call with media and analysts, “But I think it’s going to be the best vehicle in the world and I think it’s going to blow people away.”