Tesla Motors Misses on the Top and Bottom Lines

Tesla Motors (Nasdaq: TSLA  ) reported earnings yesterday. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended March 31 (Q1), Tesla Motors missed estimates on revenues and missed expectations on earnings per share.

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue shrank significantly and GAAP loss per share expanded.

Margins dropped across the board.

Revenue details
Tesla Motors tallied revenue of $30.2 million. The 10 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ predicted a top line of $31.9 million on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 38% lower than the prior-year quarter's $49 million.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

EPS details
EPS came in at -$0.76. The 10 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted -$0.69 per share. GAAP EPS were -$0.86 for Q1 compared to -$0.51 per share for the prior-year quarter.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

Margin details
For the quarter, gross margin was 33.8%, 300 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was -294.2%, 19,760 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was -297.9%, 19,810 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $29.3 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is -$0.81.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $555.4 million. The average EPS estimate is -$2.21.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a one-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 453 members rating the stock outperform and 415 members rating it underperform. Among 226 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 59 give Tesla Motors a green thumbs-up, and 167 give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Tesla Motors is outperform, with an average price target of $37.77.

Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor of Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Tesla Motors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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  • Report this Comment On May 10, 2012, at 11:42 AM, Smorgasbord1 wrote:

    You really should take a quick look at the company itself before letting these spreadsheet-generated articles be published. Analyzing Tesla like it's an established company with a mature line of products is simply not appropriate, nor is it useful.

    Telsa is a development stage company that has and is investing heavily in a production assembly line to make electric vehicles. The first vehicle off that line will come in June, so current revenue and profit numbers are meaningless right now. What is meaningful is that deliveries are coming a month sooner than originally projected, margin projections are intact, reservations are still climbing, and there is a new powertrain deal with Mercedes in the works that's larger than the sum of all the deals they've done to date.

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