Tesla Q1 2024 earnings preview: here’s what to expect

Tesla (TSLA) is about to release Q1 2024 financial results on Tuesday, April 23, after the markets close. As usual, a conference call and Q&A with Tesla’s management are scheduled after the results.

Here, we’ll take a look at what both the street and retail investors are expecting for the quarterly results.

Tesla Q1 2024 deliveries

While Tesla is an “AI/robotics” company, according to CEO Elon Musk, its automotive deliveries remain the biggest drivers of financial performance by far.

Tesla already disclosed its Q1 vehicle delivery and production numbers:

  Production Deliveries Subject to operating lease accounting
Model 3/Y 412,376 369,783 2%
Other Models 20,995 17,027 1%
Total 433,371 386,810 2%

These results were quite disastrous for Tesla as deliveries are down year-over-year for the first time in a long time.

Delivery and production numbers are always slightly adjusted during earning results.

Tesla Q1 2024 revenue

For revenue, analysts generally have a pretty good idea of what to expect, thanks to the delivery numbers.

However, Tesla’s average price per vehicle is changing a lot these days due to frequent price cuts and discounts across many markets, which makes things more difficult.

The Wall Street consensus for this quarter is $22.220 billion, and Estimize, the financial estimate crowdsourcing website, predicts a slightly lower revenue of $22.202 billion.

The crowdsourcing estimate is rarely lower than Wall Street consensus, but this quarter is special with the rare big delivery miss compared to expectations.

Here are the predictions for Tesla’s revenue over the past two years, with Estimize predictions in blue, Wall Street consensus in gray, and actual results are in green:

Tesla Q1 2024 earnings

Tesla always attempts to be marginally profitable every quarter as it invests most of its money into growth, and it has been successful in doing so over the last three years now.

However, like revenues, it has been harder to estimate earnings over the last year with price cuts digging into Tesla’s industry-leading gross margins and the big delivery drop last quarter is going to hurt badly.

For Q1 2024, the Wall Street consensus is a gain of $0.49 per share, while Estimize’s prediction is slightly higher with a profit of $0.52 per share.

Tesla had earnings of $0.85 per share during the same period last year.

Here are the earnings per share over the last two years, where Estimize predictions are in blue, Wall Street consensus is in gray, and actual results are in green:

Other expectations for the TSLA shareholder’s letter and analyst call

Beyond the financial results, Tesla always gives broader updates and answers shareholder questions in its shareholder letter and conference call with management following the release of the results.

Tesla gathers questions from shareholders from the “Say Technologies” website.

Here are the currently most upvoted questions likely to be answered by management:

  • Given that you moved the start of the next generation compact vehicle production to Austin, has the timeline improved so that we might see next generation platform vehicles in 2025?
  • Should retail shareholders be concerned that Elon has stated he is uncomfortable expanding AI and robotics at Tesla if he doesn’t have 25% of voting ?
  • How many cybertruck orders are in the queue and when do you anticipate you will be able to fulfill all existing orders?
  • What has been the barrier to ramping 4680 cells into the multi million cells per week rate and when do you expect to get there?
  • When will Tesla start construction on the Giga Nevada expansion and Giga Mexico, and when can we expect each of these to produce their first products such as 4680, Semi, and next gen vehicles?

But the earnings call could become much more interesting.

With the vote on Musk’s compensation package coming up and being seen as more of a vote of confidence for Musk than anything else, it’s likely that the CEO will try to justify some of his recent moves, like focusing on Robotaxi and firing up to 20% of Tesla’s staff.

It should make for an interesting call.

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