[N/A] Tesla turns a $312 mil profit in Q3

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by flyingcheesehead, Oct 24, 2018.

  1. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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  2. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Like the man or not,he does know how to make money.
     
  3. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    LOL. So, um, what's the ROCE on that little luxury carmaker of his?
     
  4. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Oh, probably about the same as Amazon in 2001...
     
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  5. bflynn

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    Sounds like the profit was more about timing revenue recognition than any significant underlying change. The seem to have T3 production ramped up, but they are far from meeting demand yet.

    Hopefully they can continue next quarter and they are not starting an Enron chase.
     
  6. deonb

    deonb Pattern Altitude

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    Tesla produced 70’000 vehicles this quarter, 55’000 the one before, 35’000 the one before. 26’000 this time last year.

    How is this not a “significant underlying change”?
     
  7. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    Ah, yes. The burden of high expectations.
    TSLA is already valued as though it's the Amazon of car manufacturing.
     
  8. Ken Ibold

    Ken Ibold Final Approach

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    Something is worth what someone will give you for it. No more. No less. The fact that TSLA share price does not meet the same metrics as most other publicly traded stock is not really the issue. Buzz - aka goodwill - has a long history of bastardizing share prices, both up and down.
     
  9. bflynn

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    The production increase is a approximately linear. I noted that they increased production, you just said the same thing I did and then told me I was wrong.

    I am hoping this is not a revenue timing race because that is not sustainable. Upper management is under tremendous pressure to turn a profit and moving revenue forward is one way to do that. The turnaround is much more than can be accounted for merely by increasing production.

    In bschool, one of my professors in ethics was Jeff Skilling’s college roommate, so we talked about that a little. Skilling is not an evil, corrupt guy, he just got caught up in a paper chase trap of his own making and didn’t see a way out...he was sure than next quarter must turn around. This is how he started and it was a warning to all of us. Any time I see a dramatic turn around, I wonder about how it happened.

    Tesla makes roughly $6000 profit per car, so a 15k increase accounts for $90m in profit. Where did the other $228m come from?
     
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  10. SoonerAviator

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    I wondered if they took in some "carbon credits" to make that number, or deferred some payables. The other thing of note, is that most of the quality rankings for the Model S and Model X have been downgraded to below average. Should be fun to see how it all shakes out, as most of the other car makers will have competing models online (for a likely cheaper price) in the next 2-3 years. Tesla won't have very long to be the sole heir to the mid/high end EV market.
     
  11. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man Pattern Altitude

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    Gotta admit this guy is brilliant. While traditional car makers are still trying to stuff tech into a car, Elon has made the car it's self the tech.
     
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  12. SoonerAviator

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    It's still just a toy for the well to-do. It makes no financial sense to buy a Model 3 versus an equivalent Honda Civic/Accord. The fuel savings/maintenance savings won't be offset with current electric/fuel prices over the life of the car. The main thing Tesla did that other car makers didn't (those with PHEVs/EVs) is make the vehicle performance-minded and attractive. No one wanted an Insight/Prius/etc. because they were made even uglier as EVs than the regular gas-burner models and were slow/uninspiring to boot.
     
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  13. JB1842

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    I read somewhere that the federal subsidies that Tesla received ended/will end sometime this month. I believe they get them for the first 200,000 cars sold. Gotta wonder how this will affect them in the future.
     
  14. LoneAspen

    LoneAspen Line Up and Wait

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    I used to work in Silicon Valley up until about a year ago, and still know many people out there. A lot of people lease cars for commuting,and several of the folks I know have leases that are almost up, so they're looking out for their next vehicle.

    Every one of them are at least looking at Teslas, and one just bought a Model 3. None of them were concerned with the subsidy going away. Although they were bummed the purchase/lease might cost them more, none of them said it would be a showstopper to them getting a Tesla.

    Silicon Valley is kind of its own little world, so subsidies ending might have an effect every where else in the country. But from what I'm hearing from people I know out there, subsidies ending won't have much of an impact to people shopping in the Valley.
     
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  15. deonb

    deonb Pattern Altitude

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    They don't make $6000 profit per car. Where are you getting that number from?

    Their margins on the Model 3 is 20% and overall 25.8%. That puts their profit between $11000 and $38000 per car, depending on Model.

    http://ir.tesla.com/static-files/725970e6-eda5-47ab-96e1-422d4045f799
     
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  16. deonb

    deonb Pattern Altitude

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    They made $50m from ZEV credits - would have been profitable even without that.

    No other car manufacturer is building a coast to coast charging network. Unless they start doing that soon, come 2 to 3 years from now they'll still have cars that nobody wants.
     
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  17. deonb

    deonb Pattern Altitude

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    How difficult is it to Google stuff...

    https://www.tesla.com/blog/what-you-need-know-about-federal-ev-tax-credit-phase-out

    It halves at the end of December, it ends at the end of 2019.
     
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  18. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Line Up and Wait

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    Are you talking about airplanes? Because what you say would apply MORE to airplanes. Many of us drive cars daily.
     
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  19. SoonerAviator

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    The private market will take care of that, once there's enough demand to warrant it. Gas stations can add charging stalls fairly easily if they have the real estate and grid capability. The economies of scale that GM/Ford/Honda/Toyota/Nissan/etc have on manufacturing mean that they can get a ton of vehicles out in short order when they decide to flip the switch. In the mean time, people can still charge at a Tesla charging station or at work/home if needed. So I wouldn't go as far as to say they'd have cars that "nobody wants", just cars that will utilize Tesla charging stations until the private market reacts.
     
  20. Ken Ibold

    Ken Ibold Final Approach

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    Since when was the car buying habits of the American public about financial sense? You have people taking out 8 year loans on $70,000 pickup trucks.

    Also, I think a reasonable percentage of EV sales are about practical issues like being able to use HOV lanes, "fueling" at home vs hitting the gas station, that kind of thing.
     
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  21. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Line Up and Wait

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  22. JB1842

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  23. deonb

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    You are describing a very big chicken and egg problem there.

    The majority of Gas stations are not designed to be places to hang out for 30 minutes. There's generally nothing to do for that long, and especially nowhere to sit down. Charging requires different kinds of commercial establishments around it to be attractive. Also, the profit on charging is almost nothing. So there's not a lot of incentive for Gas stations to build these. Malls and shops on the other want to attract shoppers sure, but currently they can cover over 90% of the long-range EV market by making a single deal with Tesla that costs them nothing. So why would they spend their own money to put in another set of chargers to cover another 10%? Especially since that 10% are going to be less affluent people on average.

    Only Teslas can charge at Tesla Superchargers. There was a time around 5 years back when Elon made an open offer to other car manufacturers that he will allow them to charge their cars at Tesla Supercharger stations if they in turn help Tesla build out the network. Nobody took him up on the offer at the time, and that offer is now long gone.
     
  24. deonb

    deonb Pattern Altitude

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    Both of those articles you link to (correctly) says it’s reducing, not ending. And you can still buy an inventory vehicle until the last day of the year and get the subsidy - you just can’t place a new order.

    Granted I bet they’ll run out of inventory vehicles before end of December.

    Either way, it’s not ending yet- and there is currently a (Republican sponsored) bill in Congress to make this credit end-date based (around 2020 I think) rather than a 200k flat per manufacturer that allows someone like Porche to receive that subsidy for decades and other manufacturers to drag their feet.
     
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  25. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

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    Lol I love these Tesla threads. So entertaining. Although we’re missing Nate :(
     
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  26. tspear

    tspear Pattern Altitude

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    Easier said than done. If is was so easy, then GM would be build 50K Bolt's right now.....
    The supply chain is significantly more complicated; especially on the battery side. Current ICE powered cars to make 50K, you need 200K tires, 50K engine blocks, 50K transmissions, 50K fuel tanks... You go to a few hundred suppliers. For that EV car, you need 50K electric motors, and a few million battery cells with only a dozen suppliers in the world.

    Tim
     
  27. Sundancer

    Sundancer Pattern Altitude

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    I imagine I'll get an electric eventually; doesn't seen likely it'll be a Tesla, though. I'm thinking the established manufacturers will be more competitive. Not like it's secret-sauce tech, or that Tesla has some major, significant advantage. But for now, there isn't a practical reason for me to transition. . . .
     
  28. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach

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  29. SoonerAviator

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    No denying that supply capacity constraints are there, but it's not like the "tech" side of the equation is any big leap. The reason they haven't been making 50K Bolts per month, is because the demand for such a product has been (and still is) extremely low compared to the rest of their product lines. Since the margin is so low on the Bolt/Volt/Sonic/etc. already, they aren't investing too much into it since selling a single SUV drives enough margin to the bottom line to equal several Bolt sales. They'll still have to buy 200K tires and every other component of a car that isn't driveline-related. There's plenty of economy of scale on those items, too. :)
     
  30. SoonerAviator

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    Gas stations will be able to serve a short-term charging situation (like I need 15 minute charge to get home), but assuming the electrical infrastructure is there, the charging stations can be set up at any business that wishes to provide it/charge for it. It's not going to take a giant leap for the chicken/egg situation to dissolve, it just takes enough demand for the free market to react. Shopping malls/strip centers/libraries/etc. can all be equipped fairly easily if they so desire. Tesla Supercharging stations aren't convenient in most of the country by any stretch of the imagination unless you're willing to drive out of your way to get to one. The free market will spur plenty of neighborhood locations which will fill the need when it arises. Gas stations make a good portion of their money on retail sales of convenience store items, they don't make much money on a gallon of gasoline, same will apply to charging stations.
     
  31. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    How do you "move revenue forward" under GAAP? I think they know full well that would be a foolish short-term gain anyway, and Elon is all about the long game.

    Where do you get $6K?

    20% on a 3 is between $9K and $19K, $15K with a mid-range config * 56K delivered = $840M.
    25% on an S/X is between $19K and $38K, $26K with a mid-range config * 27.7K delivered = $720M.

    Obviously, plenty of other expenditures bring things down, especially with another $68M in gross margin on energy products and $52M in ZEV credit sales.

    That's not as obvious of an outcome as you might think. Tesla's investments in battery production are really starting to pay off. All of the other OEMs are using third party batteries, I think LG Chem is the biggest one. Tesla's battery packs cost them significantly less than the others' do, which will allow them to make either a better car, a better profit, or both.

    There's more to Tesla than just being electric, and that's what most people don't understand. There's a few extra bits that make Teslas compelling even if other manufacturers were to come out with an equivalent car at the same price:

    1) The Supercharger network. Nobody else has even gotten a good start on an organized nationwide (worldwide, really) quick-charge network. There are plenty of fast charging stations in California, and a good number on the east coast, but most others are clustered in metro areas, making other companies' EVs worthless for road trips.
    2) Over-the-air software updates. Other companies' cars will never be better than the day you got them, while Teslas continue to improve and gain new features.
    3) No dealers! People freaking hate car dealers, and being able to just order and configure online is a much improved buying experience.
    4) No taking the car in for service. Teslas are designed such that over 80% of maintenance tasks can be completed with the car on the ground in your garage (or in the parking lot where you work), and they're doubling down on the mobile service model.

     
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  32. SoonerAviator

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    Simple, if he meant "profit" versus revenue: defer recognition of expenses. Negotiate longer payment terms with vendors, delay processing of goods receipts or other A/P items, temporarily constrict spending to below-operable levels. Not likely in this case for Tesla, but another trick is to ship a bunch of items that a customer ordered but doesn't want to receive until the following month/quarter. Ship it off the dock by midnight, it won't show up at the customer's location until the next month, viola, instant revenue bump. Revenue gets a bump for the quarter, stocks go up because investors get a rosy picture. Sure, it's a short term gain, but there are publicly-traded companies who play that game all the time in order to try and meet some profit forecast goal they were expected to make, especially at quarter-end or year-end.
     
  33. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    True, but since analysts were expecting a loss, they really didn't *need* to show anything more than a modest profit to beat expectations, so I would think if anything they would have paid some things off early instead to ensure they could also show a profit for the 4th quarter without hardly having to try.
     
  34. deonb

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    That would be blatantly illegal to book that as revenue. Even if you have the cash from the customer at hand - all of that cash is booked as a liability (not just the portion that cover COGS but all of it), and the car itself is inventory. It doesn’t become revenue until the customer signs and the car is delivered.
     
  35. tspear

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    Almost everything you posted is illegal and violates GAAP.
    You can avoid an expense, such as not taking employees out for lunch, you can negotiate a discount with a vendor.
    If you get longer payment terms from a vendor, that affects cash flow, not accrued liability which the profit is based on.
    There are really only a few accounting related games you can play to increase profit. Some of the big ones:
    1. Push inventory into the channel and count them as sales. If you can convince the auditor you do not have to worry about buyback of inventory, it is a straight sale with no accrued return liability.
    2. Stop capital expenditures.
    3. Cut payable accruals based on some business logic that an auditor buys. e.g. change the bonus program to be based on net profit versus gross profit. This drastically lowers the bonus pool.

    My question is, what was the major change in the balance sheet and p&l from the last filing. And I thought the CFO left recently.... and was only there less than a year. That makes me suspicious of the reported numbers.

    Tim
     
  36. SoonerAviator

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    Depends entirely on what your shipping terms are for revenue recognition. If you have FOB shipping point, you can absolutely ship it off the dock and record revenue at that time.
     
  37. SoonerAviator

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    Sorry, when negotiating terms with a vendor, I write "payment terms" but I was thinking more along the lines of timing of shipments. Ex: Making things that were previously billed when shipped and turning them into a consignment stock where they aren't billed until pulled for use in production, etc. Again, it's just vendor negotiations, nothing illegal vs GAAP. Also, when I say "delay receipt of goods or AP items", I don't mean go tell the warehouse clerk to ignore those materials that just showed up on the dock. I mean that in the operational sense that you can call vendors and push out items that would normally be shipped but delay those until the next week to avoid receipts (and thus accrued payables)
     
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  38. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach

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    Watching “Revenge of the Electric Car” right now. They’ve definitely come a long way from the Roadster but, like many have said in the movie, they need to make a car that everyone can afford. Tesla is getting close but not yet at a price point that I can afford. I wouldn’t buy a new car for $56K but if I did, there are other more desirable prospects.

    I wouldn’t have my Volt right now if it weren’t for Tesla, so that’s a good thing. ;)
     
  39. Sam D

    Sam D Cleared for Takeoff

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    The ability to game the system for revenue recognition is significantly limited when dealing in physical products (you can forget any comparison between Enron and Tesla for this). Any remaining opportunity pretty much disappears when you are constrained by how fast you can produce goods (like Tesla). Channel stuffing might be simple when you're producing software. A little more difficult when you're working off a backlog manufacturing cars.
     
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  40. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    But in this case there is no "channel." Tesla does not sell through dealers at all, they only have their own factory-owned stores and all sales are direct to consumer.
     
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