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Tesla Slips After Hours Despite Q1 Earnings Beat

By Eric Volkman - Apr 26, 2021 at 5:39PM

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A bottom line that exceeded expectations by 17% isn't enough to push the stock into positive territory.

On Monday after market hours, Tesla (TSLA 1.24%) reported a quarter that smashed the company's previous records for production and deliveries, while crushing profitability estimates. But skeptical investors traded the company's stock down regardless.

The company booked first-quarter revenue of $10.39 billion, which was a sturdy 74% higher year over year. That was on the back of a 109% increase in total vehicle deliveries during the period to a new high of 184,800. Adjusted net profit more than quadrupled over that stretch of time to hit $1.05 billion, or $0.93 per share.

A Tesla Model S cruising along the road.

Image source: Tesla Motors.

The latter number trounced the average analyst estimate of $0.80. However, the top-line figure fell just short of the $10.42 billion forecast by those prognosticators. That very well could have been the reason for the market's negative reaction to the news; many investors, after all, have extremely high expectations for Tesla, particularly after the publication of those delivery statistics (which occurred earlier this month).

The company still has lofty ambitions to get many more of its vehicles on the road. In its letter to shareholders regarding the first-quarter results, Tesla wrote that -- in accordance with remarks made by CEO Elon Musk in January -- it still plans to hit 50% average annual growth in total deliveries over the next few years. At certain points such as this year, the company added, it should exceed that goal.

None of this was stopping a slump in Tesla's share price after the results were unveiled. The company's stock was down by nearly 2% in early post-market trading Monday.

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