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3 Metrics to Watch When Tesla Motors Inc. Reports Earnings This Week

All eyes will be on Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA  ) this week when the company reports earnings. With the stock at all-time highs, and a $25 billion market capitalization that signals the market believes Tesla will eventually play with the big dawgs, the pressure is on. What will the Street be watching most closely when Tesla announces fourth-quarter results? Not earnings. Probably not even revenue. The big metrics to watch will all come from guidance.

Tesla's guidance has some big forward-looking assumptions about the company's future, and it's already priced into the stock. Even more, with its expansion into Europe just beginning, the first Model S deliveries in China just a month away, and Tesla's SUV crossover Model X supposed to begin deliveries by the end of 2014, investors will be far more interested in Tesla's outlook for the full year than its fourth-quarter results -- especially with the quarter's deliveries already announced.

Fool contributor Daniel Sparks discusses the three most important metrics related to guidance that investors should watch when Tesla announces fourth-quarter earnings this week.

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Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2014, at 4:43 PM, deeageaux wrote:

    Those are three important metrics.


    1) Cash position.

    2) Cash flow

    3) Customer deposits.

    Tesla is a forward looking stock but we should also see hwt it is doing currently to project future dividends.

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2014, at 11:58 PM, SteveTG3 wrote:


    I agree with the three metrics you mentioned being quite important, but, as to guidance for global deliveries, THE 45K VOLUME STATEMENT FROM THE NEW EXECUTIVE BASED IN CHINA WAS LATER CORRECTED. She had been working for Tesla for less than a month when she made the statement you referred to, and subsequently walked it back to something like run rate near 40K/year at end of the year (consistent with prior statements from Tesla). That executive is in charge of sales in China, not global sales, and as I say had been on the job for less than a month, and gave a response to a reporters question, likely not realizing the microscope every utterance from Tesla execs are placed under.

    If you expect them to guide to 45K for 2014 I think you will be quite disappointed. while I think it is quite likely they will end up delivering 40-45K in 2014, I would be very surprised if they guide to more than 37K on this week's call. Most likely they will guide to 35K.

    what may well be the most critical information on the call is details that may be released regarding plans for a battery factory (as you likely are aware of).

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2014, at 8:59 AM, jetamerica wrote:


    Three officers of top five TSLA officers reduced their stock by over 90+% between Jan. 2013 and Jan 2014 at prices between $35.02 (Jan 2013) and $102,( May 2013) Director Kimbal Musk sold $1,020,868 of stock at average of $64.91 since April 2013. Why did key management and director not hold for $200? Why sell most of their stock at such low prices? They know the future plans for TSLA.

    Source Yahoo Finance Insider sales. VP Manufacturing sold 12,900 now hold 553, VP Worldwide sold 139,444 now holds 14,344. Most important, CFO sold 35,000 and now holds only 2975.

    These men are key to TSLA success and have chose to sell at those very low prices. My question is why? I understand reducing a portion of holdings from time to time. Not a major exit within the last several months.

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2014, at 12:12 PM, Batteryprof wrote:

    I cut and paste the comment I did on recalls, maybe an answer!

    You are fools if you think a fire in a basement is not an --- enormous --- the worst --- SAFETY PROBLEM for a car ...

    Plugged or unplugged ...

    A short circuit could cause a fire even on a normal network (12V or 24V), it is the worst safety problem as a full bulding could fire at night ... By chance there was a working smoke detector.

    Events like that shall be at least 10E-9 for one car during one year at least if you respect automotive norms ...

    They will have problems with regulators ...

    The problem is that the short can happen anywhere in the car: HV / LV voltage wire harness design is the hardest thing to do in terms of safety (fuses, overcurrent detection, safety relays, communication with charger ...)

    For the software to be able to detect, the electronic has to stay on --> or only passive safety components work! (big shorts ...)

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Daniel Sparks

Daniel is a senior technology specialist at The Motley Fool. To get the inside scoop on his coverage of technology companies, follow him on Twitter.

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