Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) topped US$1bn in underlying profits for the first time in the first quarter of this year and pocketed a large gain from its purchase of Bitcoin, yet still failed to meet Wall Street’s sky-high expectations.
After splashing out US$1.5bn on buying Bitcoin in February, the electric car maker revealed a US$101mln “positive impact” and that it had sold 10% of its holding in the cryptocurrency during the quarter, making proceeds from sales of US$272mln.
Record first-quarter deliveries, as revealed earlier this month, led to revenues moving up a gear to US$10.4bn from just under US$6bn a year ago, which beat the consensus analyst estimate of US$10.3bn as per Refinitiv.
Net income on a GAAP basis (reported pre-tax profits) of US$438mln was up over 2,600% on the same period last year, the company’s seventh profitable quarter in a row, with earnings per share (EPS) rocketing 1,850% to US$0.39.
Adjusted EPS, excluding bonuses and other exceptionals, came out at US$0.93, which beat the Street’s US$0.79 forecast.
However, the stock fell in aftermarket trading, as if stripping out the bitcoin benefit, lower taxes and US$518mln made from selling environmental credits, the true earnings figure was “a large miss”, as brokerage Roth said.