Logistics take their toll on Tesla

A mixed set of numbers from Tesla Thursday (Sydney time) as the electric vehicle giant reported the expected ending of its streak of rising quarterly revenues and earnings thanks to the Covid lockdowns in Shanghai in April and early production problems at two new plants in Germany and the US.

Elon Musk’s company missed Wall Street estimates for quarterly revenue which fell 9% to $US16.93 billion in the three months to June from $US18.76 billion in the March quarter, but was up 42% from the $US11.9 billion in the June, 2021 quarter.

Analysts were expecting revenue of around $US17.10 billion, according to Reuters.

Net income (profits) rose 98% year on year to $US2.259 billion from $US1.142 billion a year earlier.

But it crashed by more than $US1 billion from the record $US3.318 billion reported for the March quarter of this year as the company said its automotive gross profit margin tumbled to 27.9%, from 32.9% in the March quarter and 28.4% in the June, 2021 quarter.

Tesla blamed the fall on a combination of rising inflation, more competition for battery cells and other components that go into electric vehicles as well as the impact of the lockdowns in Shanghai and teething problems at its new car plants in Austin, Texas and Berlin (where there has been labour unrest over pay rates and slow hiring in a tight labour market).

Automotive revenues made up $US14.6 billion of the company’s total, with $US1.47 billion coming from services and other revenue, and $US866 million from the company’s energy segment (batteries etc).

The fall in revenues and earnings was flagged earlier this month by the expected 18% slide in vehicle deliveries of 254,695 electric cars for the June 30 quarter. While that was up 27% year on year, the decline was due to the fall in output from Shanghai in April and May.

June deliveries from Shanghai bounced back strongly to total nearly 79,000, a monthly record.

Tesla said it remains highly liquid at June 30 with over $US18 billion in cash and liquids.

“Quarter-end cash, cash equivalents and short-term marketable securities increased sequentially by $902M to $18.9B in Q2, driven mainly by free cash flow of $621M, partially offset by debt repayments of $402M.”

“As of the end of Q2, we have converted approximately 75% of our Bitcoin purchases into fiat currency. Conversions in Q2 added $936M of cash to our balance sheet. (See separate story).

Tesla shares edged up 1% in after hours trading after rising 0.8% in regular trading Wednesday to close at $US742.50.