Tesla Motors Beats on Both Top and Bottom Lines

Tesla Motors (Nasdaq: TSLA  ) reported earnings on May 8. Here are the numbers you need to know.

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

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue increased significantly. Non-GAAP earnings per share grew. GAAP earnings per share grew.

Gross margins contracted, operating margins grew, net margins increased.

Revenue details
Tesla Motors chalked up revenue of $561.8 million. The 11 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ expected a top line of $496.6 million on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were much higher than the prior-year quarter's $30.2 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 $0.12. The nine earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ averaged $0.04 per share. Non-GAAP EPS were $0.12 for Q1 versus -$0.76 per share for the prior-year quarter. GAAP EPS were $0.09 for Q1 compared to -$0.86 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 17.1%, much worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was -1.0%, much better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 2.0%, much better than the prior-year quarter. (Margins calculated in GAAP terms.)

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $457.7 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is -$0.01.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $1.91 billion. The average EPS estimate is $0.07.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a two-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 874 members out of 1,318 rating the stock outperform, and 444 members rating it underperform. Among 328 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 173 give Tesla Motors a green thumbs-up, and 155 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 $40.68.

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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. The Motley Fool recommends Tesla Motors. The Motley Fool owns 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.

Read/Post Comments (3) | Recommend This Article (2)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 2:15 PM, ifool100 wrote:

    You wrote "If you're looking for an edge in the transportation segment of the market, consider strong, smaller brands that sell their products to folks like you and me." You're right. You and I can't afford a $100,000 car. I think it's important to look at the bigger picture however, to see what Tesla is doing. I wouldn't be caught dead in some of the EV's that have rolled off the line. They are so - we'll, "dorky". Tesla is electric enough to satisfy any Leaf owner. It's just that cars should also be fun, sexy or fast. Preferably all three. That said, it seems to me Tesla needed to catch our attention with a sexy sports car. Tesla had to change the image of the EV to change our perception of it. Tesla will continue to make beautiful cars. With every iteration I believe they'll be more affordable. It seems to me that this is an ingenious way to change our perception of the EV and to start an automotive revolution. So far, so good.

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 2:40 PM, kirkydu wrote:

    while I think new shorts will be rewarded in TSLA, ifool100, your post is pretty silly. Do you know anything about Tesla? It's first car is a sexy and fast sports car. It's awesome in fact. The only thing you have right is the cost factor. 90% of people will never, never, never consider a $70k-100k car. Even if they have an "S" model near $50k it will be tough to sell because their "real cost of ownership" comparisons rely on some faulty assumptions. On top of that, these car really aren't as emission free when you back out the damage to the environment the batteries account for and the electricity generation. Some day EVs will make sense, but not this decade. There are two generations of technology to go.

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 11:25 PM, ifool100 wrote:

    It sounds like you have some pretty strong feelings about EV, kirkydu. I think that is the case with a lot of people about Tesla. I think it's interesting how Mr. Musk is attempting to overcome this. From creative financing to a 3 year guaranteed buy-back with the Model S. And now it has received the highest rating for ANY car ever (99 out of 100) from Consumer Reports. That is an astonishing achievement for any car, let alone electric! Obviously, there is something different about Tesla.

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