Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) on Track for Model 3 Production; Q1 Earnings Miss Estimates

Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) posted a first-quarter loss that missed estimates, but the company said it remains on schedule for the production of its Model 3 vehicle in July.

The automotive maker reported a loss of $1.33 per share, as compared from a loss of $1.46 per share recorded in the year-ago period.

Wall Street analysts on average estimated a loss of 81 cents per share.

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Tesla’s revenues, however, doubled on a yearly basis to $2.70 billion, driven in part by a 64% increase in vehicle production, which in turn helped the company establish a record 25,051 deliveries in the period.

Model 3 Preparations

The development of Tesla’s Model 3 sedan is nearly complete, with release candidate units being tested to support software development, while road testing is also ongoing.

The company plans to ramp weekly production to 5,000 vehicles at some point during this year, and to 10,000 units in 2018.

As part of launch preparations, Tesla is significantly expanding its infrastructure to support vehicle owners. The company envisages a 30% increase in facilities this year by adding nearly 100 delivery, retail and service sites worldwide.

The first Tesla-owned body repair shops are expected to launch later in the year, while there are also plans to expand its current network of third-party certified body shops.

With regards to its mobile strategy, Tesla plans to add over 100 mobile repair trucks in the second quarter alone.

Autopilot Feature

Tesla completed its transition to internally developed Autopilot features in the first quarter, allowing cars equipped with the latest hardware version to use automatic emergency braking, automatic lane changing, lane departure warning, and an increased 80 mph speed limit for Autosteer in highways.

Sustainable Energy Push

The company deployed 150 megawatts of solar energy generation in the quarter, which was down on a yearly basis but delivered better financial results. More residential customers opted to purchase instead of lease a solar system, boosting the cash generation of the segment.

Tesla also installed 60 megawatt hours of energy storage, including a 52 MWh storage project in Hawaii.

Outlook

Tesla’s forecast for vehicle deliveries in the first half of the year remains unchanged at 47,000 to 50,000, representing up to 71% annual growth. The guidance for the second half will be given once Model 3 production commences.

The energy generation and storage unit, meanwhile, is poised for accelerating growth later in the year.

Key Shareholders

Tesla’s biggest shareholder as of the end of 2016 was FMR LLC, which held 22.1 million shares in the company valued at $4.71 billion.

Baillie Gifford & Co. was also a major shareholder as it owned 13.3 million shares in the company valued at $2.83 billion as of the end of the same period.

Tesla’s shares were trading at $310.77 after hours on May 4, down 2.27%.