Just days after Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) plans to begin Model 3 deliveries, investors will get a peek into the electric-car maker's business. Tesla has put its second-quarter earnings release on the calendar: Aug. 2. 

As usual, key areas to watch when Tesla reports earnings will be its revenue and earnings (or loss) per share. But with Tesla planning to start delivering the Model 3 on July 28, any updates on the important vehicle could steal the show.

Tesla vehicles outside of Tesla's factory

Image source: Author.

Here's an early look at what investors should look for when Tesla reports its second-quarter results.

Financial results

Tesla's second-quarter revenue and earnings per share will help investors see the electric-car maker's ability to scale its business as it continues to rapidly expand.

With the help of Tesla's already reported 53% year-over-year increase in second-quarter vehicle deliveries, Tesla's revenue is set to soar. On average, analysts expect Tesla to report second-quarter revenue of $2.58 billion, up over 65% compared to Tesla's non-GAAP revenue in the same period last year (comparing Tesla's GAAP revenue to its non-GAAP revenue reflects a change in the company's reporting practices between these two quarters).

Ahead of Tesla's second-quarter earnings release, the consensus analyst estimate for Tesla's non-GAAP earnings per share is a loss of $1.69. Notably, this is a wider loss than both Tesla's year-ago non-GAAP EPS of $1.61 and Tesla's first-quarter non-GAAP loss per share of $1.33.

Analysts' forecast for a negative earnings trend in Tesla's second quarter likely reflects expectations of higher expenses related to the final development stages for Model 3, as well as the fact that Tesla's second-quarter vehicle deliveries came in at the low end of Tesla's guidance.

Model 3

Even though Tesla's Model 3 launch didn't fall in Tesla's second quarter, the vehicle will likely be a central topic in Tesla's second-quarter update for several reasons.

Final version of Tesla's Model 3 outside of Tesla's factory.

Final version of Model 3. Image source: Tesla.

First, the Model 3 is expected to have significant financial implications on Tesla's second quarter even though deliveries aren't scheduled to begin until Q3. Not only did management say it expected to incur some GAAP and non-GAAP-related operating expenses associated with the final stages of Model 3 development and growth in its customer support infrastructure ahead of the vehicle's launch, but Tesla also said it expected its capital expenditures to soar as it builds out Model 3 production capacity. Tesla forecast year-to-date capital expenditures to be slightly over $2 billion by the time it starts Model 3 production. By the end of Tesla's first quarter, Tesla's year-to-date capital expenditures were just $553 million.

In addition, investors will be looking for an update on Tesla's volume expectations for the Model 3 ramp-up. With the earnings release falling less than a week after the first Model 3 deliveries, management will likely have more insight into its forecast for Model 3 deliveries for the rest of the year, and possibly provide updated guidance. As of Tesla's last estimates, it expected to deliver about 30 Model 3 units at its July 28 handover event, 100 in August, and more than 1,500 in September. By December, CEO Elon Musk has said he expects Tesla to be able to deliver about 20,000 units.

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