All eyes will be on Tesla (TSLA -5.04%) 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.