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Guess How Much Tesla Plans to Grow Vehicle Deliveries in 2021

By Danny Vena - Feb 5, 2021 at 2:00PM

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The electric vehicle maker plans to accelerate growth over the coming year.

Tesla (TSLA 4.88%) stock was on fire last year, gaining 743% over the course of the year. The company's first full year of profits, its widely publicized stock split, and its induction into the S&P 500 helped fuel the rise. However, when Tesla reported its fourth-quarter results, it signaled the company's growth could accelerate in 2021.

In this clip from Motley Fool Live recorded on Jan. 28, "The Wrap" host Jason Hall and Fool.com contributor Danny Vena discussed Tesla's surprise announcement regarding the coming year.

Danny Vena: Tesla was far less interesting than Facebook (FB 1.41%) was, but still, I have a fairly sizable position in Tesla. It didn't start out that way, but with the stock going up 700% last year, it's a sizable position now.

Just some of the headline numbers, revenue of $10.74 billion -- was the first quarter in which they exceeded $10 billion in revenue. Earnings per share adjusted $0.80, sixth straight quarter of profits. Now, the revenue beat what analysts were expecting, but the earnings came in about $0.20 light.

There were some interesting things and I think that some of these are really important to Tesla shareholders. Here's a quote that I picked out, "Over a multiyear horizon, we expect to achieve 50% average annual growth in vehicle deliveries. In some years, we may grow faster, which we expect to be the case in 2021."

That's pretty phenomenal, when you consider the fact that Tesla delivered 499,550 vehicles last year. I spell that number out because the guidance was for half a million, so it really was less than, it was like 450 vehicles short of that, so phenomenal year, and their deliveries were up 36%.

What they're saying now is they expect going forward 50% average annual deliveries growth. I think that bodes well for Tesla in the future. Just for the record, deliveries, Tesla does not disclose actual sales numbers, but it does disclose deliveries and that's the closest approximation that we have to sales.

Finally, both deliveries and production numbers set new records and both in a year that made it even more remarkable. It was done in the face of a global pandemic.

Very solid numbers from Tesla, the stock slipped a little bit today and I attribute that primarily to the fact that, yeah, they might have missed by a few cents on earnings, but I think the biggest reason for that is you've got to stock that was up 700% over the last year. That being the case, some people are going to take some profits, but another solid, remarkable performance by Tesla.

Jason Hall: A year ago people thought the company and Elon Musk were crazy for even remotely saying that they were going to deliver half a million cars last year. The general consensus was that was outrageous, there's no way they were going to do that. In fairness, Elon Musk has a very long history of setting audacious goals.

Vena: And hitting them.

Jason Hall: The company [laughs] often coming up a little bit short, but still delivering incredible numbers, so to come this close to an audacious number, tip, absolutely tip, no doubt about that.

Vena: [overlapping] Tip my hat.

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