Tesla (TSLA -0.52%) stock has surged following its record earning report earlier this week. In this episode of "The Rank" on Motley Fool Live, recorded on April 11, Fool.com contributor Jason Hall discusses the electric vehicle maker's incredible $1 trillion-plus market cap and high growth rate -- as well as some risks to its business that investors should keep an eye on.
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Jason Hall: What you see with the chart we have here on the right, this is the stock's performance over the past 12 months. We see Tesla has continued to be as much as it has been a wonderful long-term investment, actually still been a pretty great investment over the past year. It is down a little bit from the high, you see those late 2021 peaks, the stock has come down. The market cap is still over $1 trillion, which is incredible. This is a business is still growing at a very high rate. One of the things we'll talk about as we round table it is the things that we like about it and the things that we're concerned about. I think the first bear thesis is this is an automaker that's worth a trillion dollars. The counter to that is, yes, maybe it's still an automaker, but it's an automaker that is growing at an enormous rate. Fourth-quarter revenue, 65% growth, $17.7 billion. Cash flow positive, earnings positive. You look at the growth in its production. The number of cars that it's producing and delivering were still up more than 80% last year. The revenue is not growing as quickly because of that transition to lower-priced cars. That's something that's happened, has been part of the focus for the company. Then the operating margin, 15% almost operating margin. You don't get that margin as a traditional automaker. Then again, you look at the free cash flow. Big increase in cash flow. What are some of the worries? Again, it's an automaker. As much as the company's future is tied to things like autonomous vehicle fleets, which can be a very high-margin business, if this is a company that's collecting share of fees for those autonomous vehicles by managing the fleets can be a great business in terms of getting to scale. There's just a big, what's the word I'm looking for here? Network effect benefit right from that thing. But in the near-term, we've got real risk, guys. This is a company that's going to have to, as much as it makes free cash, as much as it's still growing, it's going to have to spend tens of billions of dollars to continue to increase its manufacturing scale. Just opened the manufacturing plant in Austin last week. Actually, there was a big celebration about that. There's issues in China right now with the lockdown, with its ability to meet demand by generating enough manufacturing capacity out of that facility. We've heard about the Tesla Semi for coming on five years now. That's still a pre-production vehicle. The Cybertruck keeps getting pushed back. Access to raw materials to continue to scale up its batteries. We've talked about solar, but there's not much to talk about since it fully acquired Solar City. It's scaled that business down. It's no longer close to being the largest solar installers in the U.S. It's trying to become a solar manufacturer with its solar roofs. That still hasn't generated any meaningful scale. There's a lot of questions about Tesla's future that are baked into it.