Investor Alert

Jan. 30, 2020, 8:17 a.m. EST

Tesla surges after earnings beat, vows to sell more than half a million vehicles this year

Tesla says Model Y production ramp has started

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By Claudia Assis, MarketWatch

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Tesla said it expects positive quarterly cash flow going forward, “with possible temporary exceptions.”

“We continue to believe our business has grown to the point of being self-funding,” Tesla said in its letter to investors.

Tesla also called for GAAP profitability going forward. “Continuous volume growth, capacity expansion, and cash generation remain the main focus,” it said in the letter.

Tesla delivered 367,500 vehicles in 2019, up 50% from a year ago, and in line with its guidance range of 360,000 to 400,000 vehicles. The 2020 delivery guidance represents a 36% increase over the 2019 deliveries.

Going into earnings day, analysts had worried Tesla would need a large beat in order to not disappoint investors.

And the 2020 sales guidance was “mind-blowing,” said Argus Research analyst Bill Selesky. “Comfortable above 500,000 units (is) a great thing to hear,” he said. “Keep in mind that when consumers think EV, they automatically think Tesla.”

In the analyst call, Musk said the company is likely to showcase its latest battery technologies and partnerships on a “battery day,” probably in April.

“We are in deep,” Musk said about Tesla’s battery knowledge. “We know a lot about batteries. Wow. Next level,” he said.

Musk sounded a little impatient with one analyst who inquired about a potential capital raise to pay down debt or fuel acquisitions, and earlier in the call said that retail investors have “deeper and more accurate insights than many of the larger institutional investors and analysts.”

The stock has been on a tear since mid-December, hitting a string of records that have pushed the company’s valuation above $100 billion, which is more than Ford Motor Co.’s valuation at its peak in 1999.

The shares ended at a record Wednesday, their 16th since Dec. 18.

Tesla shares have gained about 94% in the past 12 months, far outpacing advances of 25% and 18% for the S&P 500 index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.24%  and the Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +0.24%  .

+10.51 +0.24%
Volume: 1.80B
July 26, 2021 5:03p
US : Dow Jones Global
+82.76 +0.24%
Volume: 264.80M
July 26, 2021 5:03p

Claudia Assis is a San Francisco-based reporter for MarketWatch. Follow her on Twitter @ClaudiaAssisMW.

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