Elon Musk thinks Tesla can be worth more than Apple, Aramco combined

Tesla on Wednesday posted record third-quarter revenue but still missed Wall Street estimates as the electric carmaker led by billionaire Elon Musk delivered fewer vehicles than expected, while spending on new factories and new battery production squeezed margins.

Chief Executive Musk told analysts on a conference call there was excellent demand for the fourth quarter, addressing investor concern that buyers could be discouraged by the weak global economy and high prices for Tesla vehicles. But executives said some delivery issues would persist, with fourth-quarter deliveries tracking under 50% growth while production hit 50% growth.

Shares fell 3.7% in after-market trading.

Tesla is expanding fast despite global economy jitters, and investors are closely watching for signs that the cooling economy would hurt demand.

The company’s third-quarter automotive gross margin was 27.9%, missing analysts’ estimates and down from 30.5% a year earlier.

CEO Elon Musk
CEO Elon Musk is expected to speak with analysts about whether Tesla still intends to boost deliveries by 50% this year.
NTB/AFP via Getty Images

Tesla’s revenue for the third quarter was $21.45 billion, a record but short of analysts’ estimates of $21.96 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The company said it had a negative foreign exchange impact of $250 million on its earnings, as the US dollar strengthened against major currencies.

“Raw material cost inflation impacted our profitability along with ramp inefficiencies” from its new factories in Berlin and Texas, and the production of its new 4680 batteries, according to Tesla’s statement.

“Logistics volatility and supply chain bottlenecks remain immediate challenges, although improving,” Tesla said.

Musk also said that it made sense to do a stock buyback in the range of $5 billion to $10 billion, pending board review and approval.

Twitter headquarters
Musk hinted at a possible Tesla stock buyback, which could allow him to take Twitter private.
Bloomberg via Getty Images


Tesla achieved record quarterly deliveries largely thanks to its rampup in China. But the most prominent proponent of electric vehicles has seen its shares tumble about 50% from record highs last November as investors were spooked by a cooling global economy and Musk’s bid to buy social media company Twitter.

Musk told the conference call he saw a path for Tesla to be worth more than two mammoth companies, Apple and Saudi Aramco, combined.

Early this month, Tesla said it delivered 35% more vehicles in the July-September period than in the previous quarter, but the number was shy of vehicle production and analysts’ estimates.

Tesla blamed challenges transporting vehicles, but some analysts were also concerned that demand may have softened.

Some analysts said Tesla will have a hard time maintaining premium pricing and margins with the global economy cooling and as it ramps up production of new factories.

Analysts had expected Musk to voice optimism about Tesla in the conference call. Musk has been trying to raise cash to fund his $44 billion deal to take Twitter private. Some experts say Musk may need to sell about $3 billion more in stock after the earnings announcement to help fund the deal.

source: nypost.com