Tesla | Better than expected profit despite production constraints

(New York) Tesla reported strong second-quarter results Wednesday as the electric car maker hiked prices and sold most of its bitcoin to cope with the temporary closure of its factory in China, USA. .

Published at 17:01
Updated at 19:20.

Juliet Michelle
French media agency

Elon Musk’s company, mired in a lawsuit over its takeover of Twitter, posted $2.3 billion in net income during this period, nearly double its net worth in the second quarter of last year.

However, for the first time since the beginning of 2021, its profit did not reach a new record. And its turnover of 16.9 billion dollars was also a little disappointing.

But Tesla has already indicated that its shipments fell 18% from the previous quarter, in part due to the closure of its Shanghai plant for several weeks due to COVID-19.

The manufacturer also has to balance the semiconductor shortage, which has affected the entire automotive sector since early 2021, with rising raw material prices and sometimes a labor shortage.

To deal with this small air pocket, Elon Musk announced in June that he was laying off 3 to 3.5% of the workforce without touching the workers.

On Wednesday, the entrepreneur also indicated that he had sold 75% of the bitcoins owned by Tesla to make sure he had enough cash: the operation netted him $963 million. The company made a surprise by purchasing $1.5 billion worth of virtual currency in early 2021.

“We didn’t know when restrictions would be eased in China,” the boss justified during a conference call. The transaction should not be interpreted “as a judgment on bitcoin,” he said, arguing that Tesla has not sold its dogecoin, another cryptocurrency, and is not refusing to buy other bitcoins.

At the same time, the group has increased the prices of its vehicles, with the cheapest model currently on sale in the US at $48,840.

“To be honest, they are at an embarrassing level,” Musk said. But that should reflect “shocks in the supply chain and production” as well as “crazy inflation,” he added, saying he hoped “to reduce them a bit.”

This did not prevent a slight decrease in gross profit from automotive activities, especially the observed figure.

However, for Garrett Nelson of the CFRA, Tesla’s quarter as a whole was “impressive given the challenges they faced”.

speed up

Despite these challenges, Tesla has maintained its long-term goal of increasing shipments by an average of 50% per year, to about 1.4 million vehicles in 2022.

As early as June, production at its Fremont, California and Shanghai plants returned to record highs. And the group is looking to pick up the pace at its new factories in Berlin and Austin, Texas.

Tesla also continues to profit from selling its carbon credits to other companies because its vehicles do not emit pollutants, earning $344 million in the process.

Musk also said on Wednesday that more than 100,000 Tesla drivers are currently testing Tesla’s improved driver assistance software, FSD beta. By the end of the year, it should be offered to all Tesla owners in North America, and then, depending on the permission of the authorities, in Europe.

Shares rose 0.8% in electronic trading on Wednesday after Wall Street closed.

It’s down about 30% since the start of the year due to a general downturn in the markets, as well as investors worrying that Elon Musk will be distracted by his Twitter issues.

The richest man in the world did indeed announce in April his intention to buy the social network before giving up. Twitter demanded that the entrepreneur fulfill his obligations, and a trial is to take place in October.

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