Tesla CEO Elon Musk says the chip shortage is a ‘short-term’ problem


Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk speaks to the media next to its Model S.

Nora Tam | South China Morning Post | Getty Images

Tesla reported third-quarter earnings after the bell Wednesday, and it’s a beat on both the top and bottom lines.

The company’s stock dropped less than a point after hours on the results. Here are the results.

  • Earnings per share (adjusted): $1.86 vs $1.59 expected per Refinitiv
  • Revenue: $13.76 billion vs $13.63 billion expected per Refinitiv

The company reported $1.62 billion in (GAAP) net income for the quarter, the second time it has surpassed $1 billion. In the year-ago quarter, net income was $331 million.

The record results were driven by improved gross margins of 30.5% on its automotive business and 26.6% overall, both of which are records for at least the last five quarters.

Tesla generated $806 million from its energy business, including its solar and energy storage products for homes and utilities, and $894 million in services revenue, which “includes vehicle maintenance and repairs, auto insurance and sales of Tesla-branded merchandise among other things,” Tesla has disclosed in past financial filings.

The company reported a $51 million impairment related to its investment in bitcoin, which it reported under “restructuring and other” expenses.

Tesla previously reported deliveries of 241,300 electric vehicles and production of 237,823 vehicles during the period ending September 30, 2021.

Unlike other automakers, Tesla’s sales rose during the quarter, setting a new company record, despite chip shortages and supply chain challenges weighing on the industry. (Deliveries are the closest approximation of sales that Tesla reports.)

Many other automakers have reported record profits during the semiconductor chip shortage due to resilient consumer demand, but they have not been able to produce better sales due to the supplier constraints.

Last quarter, CEO Elon Musk said he would no longer lead earnings calls by default. He may choose not to address shareholders and analysts on Wednesday, which would surely disappoint his fans.

Investors submitted questions to Say Technologies, a site Tesla uses to poll shareholders ahead of earnings calls, seeking updates on the now-delayed Cybertruck, Tesla’s 4680 battery cells, and whether a $25,000 electric car, which Musk teased last year, is still underway.

Tesla’s strategy for weathering supply chain issues will also be in focus, along with the company’s ongoing investments in and sales of cryptocurrency and regulatory credits.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Correction: Due to an editing error, a previous version of this article misstated the components of Tesla’s services revenue. FSD subscriptions are counted as part of automotive revenue.

— CNBC’s Michael Wayland contributed reporting.



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