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Tesla hits a milestone as quarterly profit surpasses $1 billion for first time

Cars are lined up in front of a Tesla plant.
Tesla is expanding on three continents, including constructing new factories in Austin, Texas, and Berlin. Above, the Tesla plant in Fremont, Calif.
(Associated Press)

Tesla Inc. reported better-than-expected second-quarter earnings, buoyed by strong demand for its electric vehicles as it suggested that deliveries this year may exceed its longer-term projections for 50% growth.

Profit at Elon Musk’s electric-vehicle and clean-energy company soared to $1.45 a share on an adjusted basis, the Palo Alto-based automaker said Monday. That beat the 97-cent average of analysts’ estimates.

The results mark the eighth straight quarter of profit for the 18-year-old company, which now employs about 80,000 people. The company earned $1.1 billion in the April-through-June period, the first time its quarterly profit has surpassed $1 billion.

Second-quarter revenue grew to $11.96 billion, beating analysts’ estimates of $11.36 billion. Profit from the sale of regulatory credits were $354 million. The company also reported a $23-million Bitcoin impairment.

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Tesla is expanding on three continents, including constructing new factories in Austin, Texas, and Berlin. The company confirmed a forecast for 50% growth in deliveries “over a multiyear horizon,” but added, “in some years we may grow faster, which we expect to be the case in 2021.”

Although Tesla is still by far the world’s largest automaker by market value, its shares have declined 6.8% this year even as the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has reached new highs. More-established peers, such as General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co., have rallied as they have aggressively pushed into the nascent electric-vehicle market.

The competition is heating up against a backdrop of supply-chain challenges from a global semiconductor shortage and higher commodity prices. Investors also have mulled over Tesla’s challenges in China and the profusion of U.S. regulatory investigations into crashes that have raised safety concerns.

Despite those woes, the EV market leader delivered more than half a million cars in 2020 and reported deliveries of 201,250 cars worldwide in the second quarter.

Shares of Tesla rose as much as 3.2% to $678.40 in after-hours trading. They gained 2.2% to $657.62 at the market’s close in New York.


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