LIVE BLOG: Tesla (TSLA) Q3 2020 earnings call summary



Tesla’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) third-quarter earnings call comes on the heels of an impressive quarter that saw the electric car maker posting $8.771 billion in revenue and $809M GAAP operating income, beating Wall Street’s estimates once more. With these results, Tesla has now posted five consecutive profitable quarters.

As revealed in the company’s Q3 2020 Update Letter, Tesla currently sits on $5.9 billion in cash. This is despite the company’s simultaneous construction of Gigafactory Shanghai, Gigafactory Berlin, and Gigafactory Texas. Impressively enough, Model 3 and Model Y production have reached a run-rate of 500,000 vehicles per year at the Fremont factory. This, together with the facility’s capability to produce 90,000 Model S and Model X annually, as well as Gigafactory Shanghai’s current 250,000-per-year capacity, allows Tesla to take a definitive step towards a run-rate of 1 million cars per year.

For today’s earnings call, Tesla executives are expected to address questions surrounding the company’s plans for the coming quarters, particularly its battery cell production strategy. Updates on future projects such as the Cybertruck, Semi, and Roadster may also be mentioned, as well as more details on the third quarter’s surprising Tesla Energy results.

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The following are live updates from Tesla’s Q3 2020 earnings call. I will be updating this article in real-time, so please keep refreshing the page to view the latest updates on this story. The first entry starts at the bottom of the page.

15:00 PT: A question from an institutional investor is brought up about Tesla’s HVAC plan, especially in light of the Model Y’s heat pump. Drew Baglino notes that the Model Y’s heat pump does provide Tesla with some background in this sense, and Elon Musk noted that the company has tech that should allow for home products to be developed.

14:58 PT: Shareholder questions begin with a question about the company’s 4680 cells and if they will be produced at the same time as vehicle ramp in Berlin, which Drew Baglino confirms will indeed be the case. As for the idea of FSD being carried over from one vehicle to the next, Elon Musk noted that Tesla will “give it some thought.”

An inquiry about Solar Roof installation constraints was also asked. According to Johnson, the main constraint today lies in the installers themselves. It is pertinent for Tesla to ensure that the Solar Roof is easy to install, and so far, the response from third-party installers have been positive. Elon Musk notes that Solar Roof’s true potential would likely be very evident next year.

In response to a question about the idea of one of Tesla’s businesses spinning off into its own company, Musk discusses how Tesla is essentially a series of startups. “Every major product line is a startup. Every big new plant is a startup. And frankly, sometimes we have to learn a lesson a few times before it sinks in,” Musk remarked. He also noted that “Tesla is not dependent on enterprise software,” implying that Tesla develops all of its operational software internally.

No plans to spin anything out yet though. “It just adds complexity,” Musk said.

14:50 PT: RJ Johnson of Tesla Energy takes the stage. He discusses how Tesla Energy is ramping. “We have more demand than supply through 2021,” he said. Megapack is seeing more demand over the following year. He notes that as costs go lower, sustainable technologies are poised to replace fossil fuel-powered solutions. Other Tesla Energy products such as Autobidder and Powerwall continue to find more adoption as well.

Solar Roof is exciting as the company is gaining more experience in installing the product quickly. Solar Roof installation’s record now stands at 1.5 days.

14:45 PT: To conclude, Musk thanks Tesla’s employees and suppliers. He also extends thanks to investors who have stuck with the company through thick and thin. “I’ve never felt more optimistic about Tesla than I do today,” Musk said.

Zach Kirkhorn takes the stage. He mentions how Tesla now has five profitable quarter. The company’s regulatory credit sales continue to be strong. And despite expenses being higher due to Elon Musk’s payout from his compensation plan, the company was able to keep its numbers strong just the same. Manufacturing and operational costs continue to decrease, as per the CFO.

14:41 PT: The CEO also highlights that the Autopilot rewrite is a generalized approach to FSD, meaning that there are no specialized sensors needed for the vehicles to operate themselves.

In terms of capacity, Elon mentions the expansion of Gigafactory Shanghai, Gigafactory Berlin, and Gigafactory Texas. “We’re making progress on three major factories,” he said, adding that “always impressed by how much the Tesla China team makes.” Musk also notes that Giga Berlin, due to the ramp of new technology, the production of the facility will start slow, and then ramp to greater outputs over time. Giga Berlin could take about 12-24 months to reach full production capacity.

14:36 PT: Elon talks about how Q3 is a record quarter for Tesla. Full Stop. “Q3 was our best quarter in history,” he said. The CEO also discusses Battery Day, the culmination of years’ worth of work by the company. Musk notes that in a few years, batteries could cost half as much with cheaper production costs.

Musk also discusses updates to the rollout of Full Self-Driving. He specifically extends his thanks to the Autopilot team, which has been working like crazy to release the highly-anticipated rewrite. Musk states that the Autopilot rewrite could roll out to more drivers this weekend, with wide release by the end of the year.

14:34 PT: And we’re off! Tesla Investor Relations’ Martin Viecha takes the floor. Just like previous calls, CEO Elon Musk and CFO Zachary Kirkhorn are present, as well as other Tesla executives. Here’s Elon’s opening remarks.

14:32 PT: Then again, Tesla posted $809M GAAP operating income in Q3. That’s more than enough to justify a little delay, I guess.

14:30 PT: And… It’s starting! Here we go, folks… Wait, scratch that. It’s back to classical music.

14:25 PT: I gotta admit, this classical music is getting more and more relaxing by the quarter.

14:20 PT: It is time once more for Tesla’s quarterly earnings report! This makes five consecutive profitable quarters for Tesla now, which is something that definitely did not seem to be on the horizon in early 2019. Back then, it seemed like TSLA was the punching bag of every bear and critic out there. But since Q3 2019, things have changed, a whole lot. Needless to say, this earnings call will definitely be interesting.

The post LIVE BLOG: Tesla (TSLA) Q3 2020 earnings call summary appeared first on TESLARATI.

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