Tesla reaches milestone with first billion dollar quarterly profit

26 July 2021, 22:24

Tesla
MobilityX conference. Picture: PA

Revenue nearly doubled from last year to about 12 billion dollars (£8.6 billion).

Tesla’s quarterly profit has surpassed a billion dollars for the first time thanks to the electric car pioneer’s ability to navigate through a pandemic-driven computer chip shortage that has caused major headaches for other firms.

The financial milestone extended a two-year run of prosperity that has erased questions about Tesla’s long-term viability raised during its early years of losses and production problems.

Tesla has cemented its position as the leader in the shift away from oil combustion that is expected to make it even more profitable than during its most recent quarter.

The California company earned 1.1 billion dollars (£800 million), or 1.02 dollars per share, in the April-June period. That was more than 10 times its profit at the same time last year.

Revenue nearly doubled from last year to about 12 billion dollars (£8.6 billion).

Tesla now boasts a market value of roughly 630 billion dollars (£455 billion), far more than any other car maker and 14 times more than what the company was worth two years ago.

Its mercurial CEO Elon Musk is now sitting on the world’s third largest fortune at an estimated 163 billion dollars (£118 billion), according to Forbes magazine.

For all its recent success, Tesla’s momentum could be slowed by a persistent shortage of chips that have become vital parts in modern cars.

While other major car makers had to dramatically curtail production during the first half, Tesla has so far been able to secure an adequate supply of chips to churn out vehicles at the fastest rate in its history.

In the most recent quarter, Tesla delivered more than 206,000 vehicles within a three-month span for the first time in its history. It is also gearing up to add another sports utility vehicle, the Model Y, to its line-up later this year.

But in a sign that Tesla is not immune to the shortage in chips and other components that is damaging its rivals, the company disclosed that it will delay the introduction of a highly anticipated truck to some time next year. Its original plan was to introduce it this year.

Tesla also warned that the availability of parts will determine whether it will be able to maintain the first-half production pace that raised hoped the company will be able to manufacture more than 800,000 vehicles this year.

That would be a significant increase from nearly 510,000 last year, when government restrictions during the early stages of the pandemic forced the company to temporarily shut down its California factory.

The uncertainty may have dampened some of the investor response to Tesla’s surprisingly strong quarterly results. The company’s stock gained more than 2% in extended trading on Monday after the second-quarter numbers came out. The stock has fallen about 25% from its peak price reached six months ago.

By Press Association