Tesla is set to report earnings after the bell

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks at an event in Hawthorne, California April 30, 2015.
Patrick T. Fallon | Reuters

Tesla is expected to report third-quarter earnings for 2022 after the bell on Wednesday.

CEO Elon Musk does not speak on every earnings call, but plans to do so on Wednesday he said on Twitter. Investors can listen to the Tesla earnings call on its investor relations site starting at 5:30 ET.

Here’s what analysts were expecting, according to estimates compiled by Refinitiv as of October 19, 2022:

  • Earnings: $0.99 per share (adjusted) expected
  • Revenue: $21.96 billion expected

The company previously reported that its deliveries for the quarter ending September 30 reached 343,000 and vehicle production reached 365,000. Deliveries are the closest approximation of sales reported by Tesla. Shares have dipped more than 17% since that weekend report on October 2.

During the quarter, Tesla faced soaring commodity and energy prices, problems shipping cars to customers, and executive turnover including the notable departure of AI leader Andrej Karpathy in July.

However, the company also notched a record in China after suspending most production temporarily in July to make factory upgrades there. According to the China Passenger Car Association, Tesla delivered 83,135 electric vehicles made at its Shanghai factory during the month of September, the most in a single month since the plant opened in late 2019.

Tesla is now working to reach full capacity production levels at two new factories in Germany and Texas, and to make good on a long-delayed promise to make Tesla cars self-driving with no new hardware, only software updates. Musk has promised Tesla will begin deliveries of the company’s heavy-duty all electric truck, the Semi, in December this year.

Tesla picks questions for executives to answer ahead of earnings calls using an online platform, Say Technologies. Questions submitted there before Wednesday concerned the possibility of share buybacks, and Tesla’s progress towards mass manufacturing its own battery cells, and its unconventional pickup, the Cybertruck, first unveiled in 2019.

Retail and institutional investors are also interested in whether demand for Tesla vehicles will remain high, grow or retract in an inflationary environment and specifically in China, which was the world’s largest market for electric vehicles in the first half of 2022.

Citi analysts wrote in a note on Tuesday ahead of Tesla earnings that they think shareholders will focus on Tesla’s fourth-quarter outlook for deliveries and gross margins, but also noted “We are not sure the Q3 update alone can fully address macro concerns into Q4 and 2023, so the stock might quickly revert to trading on macro/industry datapoints.”

Musk is in the midst of a $44 billion acquisition of the social networking giant Twitter — a crucial platform for promoting Tesla, SpaceX and its internet service Starlink — after fighting in court to get out of the deal which he initially proposed and agreed to in April 2022.

Musk, who is also the CEO of SpaceX, has embroiled himself in geopolitical controversy by sounding off about China and Taiwan, nuclear war, Russia and Ukraine in recent weeks. He also shared tweets that seemed to endorse Ye, the hip hop and fashion icon formerly known as Kanye West. Ye has agreed to buy Parler, a right-wing social media app, after other social networks suspended him over antisemitic posts. In one of the tweets, which Musk has since deleted, he shared a Dragon Ball meme appearing to promote a future collaboration with a potentially Ye-owned Parler and Musk-owned Twitter.

Tesla fans have asked, but Musk has not yet said, whether he will sell more Tesla shares to finance the Twitter deal.

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