Tesla is celebrating strong third-quarter earnings due in large part to record vehicle production and delivery, a sign the company has entered a new growth phase after it opened its Shanghai “gigafactory” earlier this year and announced another one for Europe.
Tesla posted a surprise profit on Oct. 23, its first quarterly profit in nearly a year, with shares soaring by as much as 17 percent in late trading. Earnings were $1.91 per share versus estimates of $-0.24 per share and revenue was $6.3 billion versus estimates of $6.45 billion.
Tesla has a loyal fan base that likely played a role in its recent performance. Customers buy into the company’s ethos and products--one that passionately educates other consumers about Tesla’s products on Twitter and other social platforms, said Chicago-based Alyssa Altman, Transportation & Mobility Lead for North America at Publicis Sapient.
But passionate customers will only get the company so far, said Altman. “The company continues to fall short of CEO Elon Musk’s goal for ‘100,000 units sold’ per quarter, even as Tesla expands into new markets,” she said. “In order to achieve Musk’s long-term goals, Tesla needs to refocus its efforts from maintaining the appearance of a profitable and sustainable business model to actually delivering one.”