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Elon Musk says Tesla unlikely to be profitable this quarter, TSLA stock falls

In a conference call with journalists and analysts today after the $35,000 car and store closure announcement, Elon Musk gave a quick rundown on Tesla’s current financial situation.  It wasn’t great news, but it was mostly expected.

The big news as far as short term investors are concerned is that Tesla will likely not be profitable in Q1 of 2019.

We already knew that Tesla’s cash flow will be tight in Q1 due to a huge loan repayment expected next month. However, with Tesla beginning to close its stores and other commitments like shipping cars to Europe and China, it will also take big hits on one time income expenses.

“Given that there is a lot happening in Q1, and we are taking a lot of one time charges, there are a lot of challenges getting cars to China and Europe, we do not expect to be profitable in Q1. We do think that profitability in Q2 is likely.”

Being profitable in Q2 was expected, along with all upcoming quarters per last month’s conference call.

TSLA shares are now down around 10 points or 3.5 percent in after hours trading.

Electrek’s take:

Tesla as an organization will not look the same after today. With its stores closing it will have a totally new face. However, its core business is strong and it has met the final step in the original master plan.

In the last earnings call, Tesla said that it was going to be a stretch to get to profitability this quarter and with the big one time charge of dropping stores and paying out laid off employees. Musk didn’t elaborate on the China or Europe delivery problems, but we’d seen some unexpected delays and problems particularly in Europe.

Overall, after listening to the call, I think Tesla is in great shape and I expect Model 3 demand to be incredibly strong.

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Avatar for Seth Weintraub Seth Weintraub

Publisher and Editorial Director of the 9to5/Electrek sites. Tesla Model 3, X and Chevy Bolt owner…5 ebikes and counting