Tesla Q4 Hit By Delivery Shortfall, But Company Expects To Be Back On Track In Q1

Electric car manufacturer Tesla reported earnings today following the bell, including $1.1 billion in non-GAAP revenue, and an adjusted loss per share of $0.13. On a GAAP basis, using normal accounting methods, Tesla had a wider loss of 86 cents per share, and revenue of $957 million.

The company delivered 9,834 cars in the period. In the sequentially preceding third quarter, Tesla delivered a comparable 7,785 Model S vehicles. For the full-year period, Tesla delivered 31,655 cars.

Tesla said it built 11,627 vehicles in Q4, which meant that it matched its full-year production target of 35,000 vehicles in 2014. However, it was unable to deliver promised vehicles due to a combination of customer vacations, severe winter weather and shipping problems. Those deliveries will move into the first quarter.

The market expected Tesla to earn an adjusted $0.31 per share, on non-GAAP revenue of $1.23 billion. Tesla reports non-GAAP revenue, a somewhat rare statistic, to allow for the impacts that its Model S leasing program has on short-term top line. Both revenue figures for Tesla are worth tracking.

The company reported gross margin of 26.7 percent in the quarter, below its forecast 28 percent estimate.

In regular trading, Tesla dipped more than 2 percent. In after-hours trading shortly after its earnings release, the company was down about 3 percent. Tesla, worth north of $26 billion before it reported its financial performance, remains far off of its 52 highs, which saw its shares nearly reach the $300 mark before receding.

The company projects that in 2015, it will deliver a total of 55,000 Model S and X vehicles, which is 70 percent above its 2014 deliveries. About 40 percent of those it expects to deliver in the first half of the year.