Tesla shares slump after it misses revenue estimates

World's most valuable car maker reports higher profits and increased deliveries but misses estimates on overall revenue

Brand new Teslas at the factory in Fremont, California. AFP
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Tesla missed Wall Street estimates for third-quarter revenue on Wednesday as the electric car maker led by billionaire Elon Musk delivered fewer vehicles than expected.

Tesla shares slumped 6.26 per cent in after-hours trading to $208.16.

Mr Musk was expected in a conference call to answer analysts' questions about whether Tesla, the world's most valuable car maker, will stick to its target of boosting deliveries by 50 per cent this year.

Some have questioned whether demand is softening.

Tesla achieved record quarterly deliveries largely thanks to its increase in China.

But the EV giant has had its shares tumble about 50 per cent from record highs last November, as investors were unnerved by a cooling global economy and Mr Musk's bid to buy social media company Twitter.

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

This month, Tesla said it delivered 35 per cent more vehicles in the July-September period than in the previous quarter, but the number fell short of vehicle production and analysts' estimates.

Tesla said the delivery volumes it is reaching in the last weeks of each quarter are making transport capacity “expensive and difficult to secure".

Tesla is reacting by moving to a smoother delivery pace, “leading to more vehicles in transit at the end of the quarter", the car maker said in its third-quarter earnings report.

“We expect that smoothing our outbound logistics throughout the quarter will improve cost per vehicle."

Some analysts said Tesla would have a hard time maintaining premium prices and margins, especially as the global economy is cooling and it is increasing production of new factories.

The company's third-quarter gross margin was 27.9 per cent, down from 30.5 per cent last year.

Reuters and Bloomberg News contributed reporting

Updated: October 20, 2022, 3:44 AM