Tesla Reports Loss for Q4, Looks to 2017 For Growth

Tesla shaved down losses and surpassed revenue estimates in Q4, and told investors Model 3 production will start in July. It also frees SolarCity from the heavy burden of having to front the cost of the rooftop solar, which greatly reduces its need to borrow more money.

Given Tesla's elevated stock price, many analysts believe Tesla will seek a capital raise in coming months.

Shares of Tesla TSLA were down more than 5% in morning trading Thursday after the company posted a wider-than-expected fourth quarter loss.

Tesla's current Gigafactory 1 will be the largest factory building in the world by footprint.

But it turns out limited production is still due to commence this July, before things move towards full-scale production during the start of September.

The update also revealed that Tesla has shifted into a cost-cutting mode with SolarCity, which has been plagued by growing losses and a steadily increasing cash drain as its business has expanded. The company saw 49% more global net orders for the Model S and Model X combined, and it expects to deliver between 47,000 and 50,000 of these cars in the first half of 2017.

Whiston projects the company's needs are even greater-he expects Tesla will have to raise $3 billion to fund Musk's ambitions.

It did, however, reaffirm its pledge to deliver 500,000 vehicles in 2018 and one million in 2020, when its £3.8 billion gigafactory is expected to reach full capacity - a sharp rise from the 80,000 delivered in 2016. Sure, Musk reassured us that the Model 3 is on schedule, but investors have learned to take his time-based promises with a grain of salt.

Like its Model S and Model X, the smallest model in the Tesla line up will come with the United States car-maker's AutoPilot self-driving technology, Supercharger fast-recharge capability, a glass roof that extends from bonnet to boot lid, five seats and a landscape touch-screen infotainment system to replace the oddball portrait unit in the Model S. Musk has stated that Tesla Model 3 production is very much on track and that the company is looking to ramp up production to 5,000 vehicles a week in the fourth quarter.

Musk announced on the earnings call that Tesla's Chief Financial Officer Jason Wheeler would leave the company in April "to pursue opportunities in public policy" and the company's former CFO, Deepak Ahuja, would rejoin the company in March.

  • Zachary Reyes