Tesla’s run of profitability continued during third quarter with the California EV maker pushing hard to meet its 500,000-vehicle delivery target.
The company’s adjusted EBITDA came in at $1.8 billion on revenue of $8.7 billion, both were up 67% and 39% respectively. Its adjusted EBITDA margin came in at 20.6%, while the automaker’s net income was $331 million, good for a 131% increase compared with the year-ago result. The company also boosted its total cash and cash equivalents to $14.5 billion from $8.6 billion last quarter, most of that coming from its $5 billion cash influx from its 5-for-1 stock split in August.
The results beat the street’s forecasts. Analysts on average expected Tesla to report net income of $593 million in the third quarter on revenue of $8.4 billion, according to Refinitiv data, so CEO Elon Musk and Tesla investors can delight in exceeding those estimates.
“We are increasingly focused on our next phase of growth,” the company said in its letter to shareholders. “Our most recent capacity expansion investments are now stabilizing with Model 3 in Shanghai achieving its designed production rate and Model Y in Fremont expected to reach capacity-level soon.”
The company reiterated its belief that it can hit the aforementioned delivery target in a letter to investors. First quarter deliveries were 88,496 vehicles while Q2 jumped to 90,891 vehicles. The company reported Oct. 2 it delivered 139,300 vehicles — a new record. In total, Tesla’s delivered 318,687 vehicles through the first three quarters, meaning the company will need to set another new record 181,313 vehicles hit the target — nearly a 30% increase.
Unsurprisingly, many are taking a cautious approach when predicting what Musk and his motivated workforce can accomplish in the final quarter of the year — where it typically makes a strong push to the finish.
“I’m … cautious about demand given the recessionary environment and accelerating pace of coronavirus infections, making it tough for the company to hit its 500K car sales target for the year,” said Haris Anwar, senior analyst at investing.com.
The EV maker announced earlier this week that it would begin shipping Model 3 sedans produced at its Shanghai gigafactory to more than 10 European countries, starting this month. The move as the company is building a new plant just outside Berlin, suggests that production levels at the Chinese plant are increasing.
While Tesla does not break out regional sales, data from China’s auto industry association CPCA showed Tesla Model 3 sedan sales remained roughly flat from July to September. Overall, Tesla sold a total of around 34,100 Shanghai-made Model 3s in the third quarter.
If the company can push that closer to the 50,000-unit mark, it would give the EV maker a better chance at making that target number. Adding those countries to the Shanghai production count may do just that. The Shanghai plant was originally designed to produce 200,000 units annually; however, the company reported it’s now capable of producing 250,000 Model 3 sedans annually.
Tesla’s adding Model Y production capacity on three continents right now and each of them are tracking to produce Model Y utility vehicles in 2021, the company said in its report. That includes the company’s newest site near Austin, Texas. The company also noted semi truck production, which is also slated for Austin is expected to begin next year.