Quarterly shareholder letters, with accompanying financial results, are an opportunity for companies to crow about their recent progress and instill excitement about future expectations. Tesla Motor's latest such release reveals it's coop is rife with roosters in full song. And for good reason.

The California automaker announced today it earned $46 million in 4th quarter of 2013 on a non-GAAP basis – under generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), which calculates leasing and stock-based employee remuneration differently, it actually lost $16 million – selling 6,892 very lovely Model S electric sedans in the process. Further, it passed its predicted 25 percent gross profit margin on its cars, hitting 25.8 percent on a non-GAAP basis. This means, for the fiscal year of 2013 it sold 22,477 vehicles in total and had over 2.5 billion in (non-GAAP) sales, which includes, of course, supply and development deals with Toyota and Daimler.

TSLA has jumped to a record high in the $217 neighborhood.

That's pretty durned good, and the stock market would seem to agree. With the financials results dropping just after the NASDAQ's close, the price for TSLA has jump around 12 percent – over $23 as of this writing – to a record high in the $217 neighborhood. Those share price increases aren't just based on past performance, though. The info drop also included plenty of things to indicate the future bodes well. The company expects both sales and production to continue to rise throughout 2014, with a new assembly line expected to help churn out 1,000 cars per week in the 3rd quarter and profit margins projected to hit 28 percent by the end of the year.

On the demand side, Tesla's CEO Elon Musk stated during the conference call that he doesn't expect the company to be able to meet the demand that's coming from China. Its new Beijing store is now the company's biggest and busiest and deliveries don't even begin until spring. While European sales are a little slower than anticipated, the exec said he believes it will improve as soon as the company irons out a few technical difficulties that have arisen with charging amongst the different territories there. Apparently, not all power grids operate in exactly the same way.

Speaking of reservations for the upcoming Model X SUV, Elon said demand is high. Quote: "If you are going fishing, fish are actually jumping in the boat." That vehicle is only expected to start reaching customers next spring.

Tesla will release more information on its giga-plan next week.

One future topic that wasn't widely discussed during the call was the Tesla Gigafactory. This battery-building facility is expected to be completed in a similar time frame as the more affordable Tesla Model E and supply the renewables industry as well as power cars. Musk did mention that the company would be releasing a lot more information on its giga-plan next week. You can read the shareholder letter here (PDF) or browse its pages in our gallery below. You can compare these earning results with the first three of 2013 here, here, and here.


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  • 146 Comments
      mikeybyte1
      • 1 Day Ago
      I have been considering getting a hybrid or plug in as my next vehicle. I do mostly urban commuting with very little highway. But now I am seriously considering waiting a few more years to see what Tesla does with their new Model E. My only concern is the potential delays. If they need the giga factory in place I can see that taking longer than planned. Seeing how the Model X keeps getting delayed the Model E may be even much further off. So I will keep an eye on this. Very exciting. I seriously think Tesla will end up being a big game changer in the long run, especially with the Supercharger network. Too many people are dismissing it as a niche provider that will never grow.
        purrpullberra
        • 1 Day Ago
        @mikeybyte1
        There is one very good reason the ModelX has been delayed and it will not affect the ModelE. The ModelX was put out in the public because Tesla were certain that they'd need a second model, an uber popular crossover, to help keep the production line running in 2013. But the ModelS was too popular to justify stopping the ModelS work and starting the ModelX. The most important thing is keeping the production line running and that was the only reason the ModelX was brought out so early and why it was potentially going to come out so soon after ModelS. But now the most important thing for Tesla to get, looking forward, done is the genIII car. Tesla will not do anything that might seriously delay its introduction to the market. So that's why all the focus on the gigafactory and other things while the ModelX is still on the drawing table. The ModelX is simply nowhere near as important to the future as the ModelS was/is and the genIII vehicle will be. Hence, it gets lost in the mix. Even knowing that I am certain the car will be as awesome as the ModelS is. The only difference is the importance of the cars release to the company's survival. ModelX is just the east important car so it gets shoved back further and further. I think it's a sign that Tesla are ruthlessly deciding what's most important to focus on and I like that.
      purrpullberra
      • 10 Months Ago
      Sounds like everything is going as well as we (the hopeful and educated) thought. These numbers are all laid out for the world to see so there is nothing nefarious in the way they are reporting (such a lame accusation). But I am still hopeful that Apple will only be a partner in the giga-factory taking on risk and putting up capitol, helping to fund R&D as well. But I hate nearly everything about Apple but they have enough cash and finally(!) a desire to produce things domestically so the 2 teaming up to build this major factory makes me happy to partner up. (Especially if it helps in any way in the fight against dealers, more money, cache and public support.) At any rate, the continued slipping back of ModelX shipment is almost expected, it's simply not needed the way Tesla thought they would be, the ModelS is so successful that it is best to ramp up its production and secure an enormous future. They are smartly embracing their success. And as far as I can see the only people who are disturbed by the delay are not buyers, potential buyers or shareholders so they don't matter. I hope Tesla takes on as much as they have in the past with this battery venture. Most comparisons to Amazon are silly but there is a similarity in that everyone in the know, as opposed to those who are ridiculously skeptical despite Tesla's history, the MOST important thing Tesla can do is to take this current level of success and bet the whole farm, and the giga-factory fits the bill entirely. And Apple's need to enter a new, high-growth market also fits if they get involved in building batteries. No one said it HAD to be a consumer device to help prop up a somewhat ailing Apple stock. It's a green initiative, hooking up with Tesla in anyway is smart, and helping improve the batteries and profit margins on Apple products makes sense. Sharing R&D costs/results makes sense too. Maybe Tesla will have a use for curved batteries themselves. But this report helps show how Tesla are really starting to branch out from just a carmaker with ~30k sales and into a company who will deserve far higher valuation than they have today. FAR higher. Maybe not soon but the up side is still hundreds per share.
      FuelToTheFire
      • 10 Months Ago
      WOW!!!!! All of 6k sales for a car so over hyped by the media? Wow wow wow /s I see absolutely NO reason to buy such a car over a comparable gasoline car. Any idiot who graduated high school knows that electricity doesn't come from pixie dust, it comes from fossil fuels as well, namely coal. And any idiot knows that coal is a much less energy efficient source than gasoline. Meaning that you are paying $90 k for a car with the same size and the same features as a $20 k Honda Accord.....which is using a LESS efficient powerplant......but caters to hipster douchebags looking for a "green" image...... which can't safely make it from LA to Vegas on one trip......with inferior performance to gasoline powered cars costing the same (MB S Class and Audi A8).....built by a mismanaged company which will probably go the way of Tesla in 5 years.......and that company is run by a imbecile crackpot who belongs in a padded room.
        EVSUPERHERO
        • 1 Day Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        I'm sorry you are wrong, I paid 101,161 dollars for my Tesla. As Ferris Buler would say, "If the you have the means, I highly recommend it." Most gas cars will be stinking pollution piles ten years from now. Though I do still have a 2001 corvette that has less than 29k miles on it and does not stink. If it had 290k miles on it like my Tesla will it would be a stink pile. I always smell ten year old gassers before I see them on the road even with a excellent cabin filter. Enjoy your stink pile Fuelforthefire I did for many years but never again will I go back to the pollution piles they will only get dirtier as the miles get put on them but my fuel will get cleaner and cleaner as we get off coal and other dirty grid fuel.
          Merc1
          • 1 Day Ago
          @EVSUPERHERO
          You have a problem. M
          Marco Polo
          • 1 Day Ago
          @EVSUPERHERO
          @ EVSUPERHERO Well done Ray, you went and bought a model S. As we in Australia say, Goodonya ! For true pioneering EV enthusiasts like yourself, the Model S must be a dream come true. I'm glad to see you bought a top of the range model. (well worth the extra money ) . Not only can you drive in good health, but you are helping everyone else's health !
        mikeybyte1
        • 1 Day Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        The scary thing is I think you truly believe what you are saying and not just being a troll to see how many down votes you get. You seriously need to educate yourself.
          m_2012
          • 1 Day Ago
          @mikeybyte1
          Also likely. And scary.
        Grendal
        • 1 Day Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        Wow. Did you come to the wrong place to spout your nonsense or what? Everyone here is knowledgeable enough to know that your post is filled with misinformation and FUD.
        m_2012
        • 1 Day Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        I thought you were just trolling. Then I thought maybe you were just ignorant. Many people tried to set you straight. Now I see you are just stupid. I have never seen anyone rant where EVERY point they make is WRONG. Usually even an ignorant rant will gt SOMETHING right - you didnt even get close.
        Jon
        • 1 Day Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        You really think a four banger in an accord is more efficient than a coal plant? Even if you aren't college educated. Just.. sit and think about it..
        FuelToTheFire
        • 1 Day Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        *built by a mismanaged company which will probably go the way of Fosker in 5 years"
          mikeybyte1
          • 1 Day Ago
          @FuelToTheFire
          You also need spelling lessons.
          CoolWaters
          • 1 Day Ago
          @FuelToTheFire
          Only the senile mind could call TESLA "Mismanaged". Best laugh Today. Thanks.
        Actionable Mango
        • 1 Day Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        Guys, stop feeding the troll. If you don't feed him, he will wither away and die.
        m_2012
        • 1 Day Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        Fueltothefire, aka Trollwithoutalife: #inmymomsbasement 1. Where do you get power comes from namely coal? This is so untrue. In some states, its less than 10%. The national average is 37% and dropping everyday. Gasoline is less than 25% efficient in a car. 2. Same size as an Accord? In what measure? Please enlighten me, ANY specs. Seating, cargo space, leg room. This should be amusing. I dont remember an Accord having Wi-Fi, surround sound, 0-60 in 4 secs, or even costing $20K. 3. Less efficient? An EV is over 90% efficient. Meaning more than 90% of the energy that goes in is used for propulsion. Gasoline is less than 25% efficient in a car. That means you WASTE 75%, and thats even after you shipped it across our oceans and WASTED 6KW of energy refining it. 4. LA to Vegas? This trip has been done so many times its laughable. Try again. 5. Inferior performance to cars costing the same? Again, you cant even argue. This is so well documented as false, lets not even discuss it. Look up some road tests. 6. Mismanaged? They seem to be doing alright. Multiple multi-billion dollar corporations building successful products. Sounds pretty good to me. 7. Geniuses are often eccentric. Nothing wrong with it. You could say the same about other brilliant scientists, musicians, artists, etc. I think you should look in the mirror to find the padded room candidate.
      purrpullberra
      • 10 Months Ago
      Oh, thanks ABG. See why we need an edit or cancel function? New device, yoga 13, love it. That shouldn't matter though. But I'm not sure how 3 post went through.
      Robert Fahey
      • 10 Months Ago
      If this keeps up, Tesla could buy Apple in a decade.
        ravenosa
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Robert Fahey
        Either way, as long as Musk runs AAPL and they give Cook a different position.
        purrpullberra
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Robert Fahey
        I'd rather see Tesla team up with a few dealers to fight off an Apple takeover, were that ever necessary or possible. A partnership, yes, awesome. Joint ownership of R&D, hell yes. Joint risk/rewards on the whole factory thing, yes. But Elon is above gadgetry. The guy needs to focus on the biggest challenges in his life not continue to accrue more and more challenges. IMHO. Maybe in a decade, if he leaves SpaceX or Tesla or when his kids get older Apple could have him. But I hope not. Both his companies need to get as much of him as they can. Apple would be a terrible distraction. That's one reason I hate the Hyperloop fantasy.
      CruzControl
      • 1 Day Ago
      I've been glued to CNBC all morning. Dumping my savings into Tesla was the dumbest and smartest thing I've ever done. Bungee jumping in Bali will be the next :)
        m_2012
        • 1 Day Ago
        @CruzControl
        A lot of those CNBC clowns have shorted Tesla. Doug Kass just did big time just the other day.
        ssdajoker
        • 1 Day Ago
        @CruzControl
        hey I should have joined you, I wish it was still $20...oh how i weep.
        purrpullberra
        • 1 Day Ago
        @CruzControl
        Wow, Bali, have fun! While your stake in Tesla helps ensure a nice future go on a big trip. Sounds great to me!
      car-a-holic
      • 1 Day Ago
      On an off thought, I wonder how long til GM decides this would be a perfect company to buy and trash????
        purrpullberra
        • 1 Day Ago
        @car-a-holic
        GM can't do anything that would make Elon or other Tesla shareholders sell to them. EVERY possible move would be a pathetic sign of sheer desperation. Plus they can't afford it. Even Apple's $160 billion cash isn't going to be able to pry Tesla away from Elon (or the rest of us). Elon WILL NOT SELL for around 3 years, after the genIII model is for sale. He has sworn this is true several times now. So no one is going to takeover Tesla any time soon.
        m_2012
        • 1 Day Ago
        @car-a-holic
        Hopefully never! They need to get their own $hit together.
          Grendal
          • 1 Day Ago
          @m_2012
          Tesla is not selling and GM can't afford to buy.
      Feurig
      • 1 Day Ago
      Good idea to start off with something expensive as your first model. I want one of these, and every one of my friends wants one of these. When they come out with the Model E, more than likely they won't be able to meet demand.
      Joeviocoe
      • 1 Day Ago
      The buzz word people love to toss around: Bubble! We are hearing less and less of that word. Many people don't understand that even significantly overvalued stocks, don't necessarily need to "burst". They can stay overvalued for a long while, waiting, for the company's growth to catch up to its stock valuation. Tesla's got enough demand, momentum, enthusiasm... and enough milestones ahead of them.. to continue to grow and this rapid pace. And their true worth will likely converge with their valuation later in the future... without the need for anything as dramatic as "bursting a bubble".
        Edge
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        The whole market is a bubble now, and I think singling out Tesla, is like seeing one tree on fire, when the whole forest is on fire. I can live with Tesla's valuation (not that I would buy any at that price), but the market is insane!
        Marco Polo
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        @ Joeviocoe I agree, it's always been my opinion that Tesla can't be judged by the standard of ordinary new company stock. The moment I saw Tesla's army of small investors, not speculators, but serious 'believers', and the quality of corporate management, backed by Elon Musk's industrial skill in delivering such a high quality, completely packaged product, I knew i was watching a rare phenomenon. It's not often, but once in a generation, some stocks do defy gravity ! Your description of Tesla is very accurate. It would take a major mishap to shake the faith of Tesla shareholders, and Tesla has proved that it has plenty of resilience.
        purrpullberra
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        No one is taking into account that Tesla will be the largest battery producer in the world, with the benefit of scales of economy they will become THE major player in that field. Solar City's needs plus Tesla's mean they can sell better stuff cheaper to everyone else too. The factory will deserve its own stock it will be so huge. The Supercharger tech and the stations together will be another enormous source of revenue that is completely independent of the car making business. No one person that I've read understands that at all, analysts not ABG commenters. And they will almost certainly continue to sell tech and products to other car makers who will realize that they can't ever hope to compete with Tesla and that they must ride Tesla's coattails into the future. Can the company that has squandered the Voltec system by putting out the pretty and pretty stupid ELR ever going to catch up to Tesla in any way? How? In what universe is that possible? They will have to buy in. Or can a consortium of the worlds car makers come together and make a better product? HAHAHAHAHAHA Tesla is set to become an industrial powerhouse, pun intended, going far beyond what any other car company has ever or could ever become. The stock could increase by 5.5x again.
      FuelToTheFire
      • 1 Day Ago
      I guess anyone who has a different opinion from you is considered a troll, huh? Notice how you automatically resorted to insults and name calling instead of refuting That Guy's perfectly true statement that Teslas have considerably higher rates of fires than gasoline powered cars.
      TurboFroggy
      • 10 Months Ago
      Fantastic job Tesla!
      Koenigsegg
      • 10 Months Ago
      Elon is the greatest human being alive.
        That Guy
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Koenigsegg
        Hahahahahahahaha! There had never been something so completely wrong said before. Elon is a complete moron. And his house of cards company and faulty, misguided products are a joke too.
          purrpullberra
          • 1 Day Ago
          @That Guy
          Agreed, Elon is POS compared to you. But, have you considered how many people would willingly exchange their life for Elon's or for yours? What individual of importance thinks of you as an innovator? I can't wait to hear exactly which successful billionaire you are, please reveal yourself !
          purrpullberra
          • 1 Day Ago
          @That Guy
          But really the 'proof is in the pudding' and I am hoping your flavor isn't 'poverty'. While we know Elon's flavor is Iron Man Awesome billionaire flavor. Yum, I'll buy that. But still you deserve your place above him. Clearly. Which car company do you run? I am dying to know.
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