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Tesla charging up for more quarterly earnings to propel Musk into the S&P 500

Companies need a record of successive quarterly profits to be included in the Wall Street benchmark

Tesla Inc -

Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) will lift the boot on quarterly earnings and various operational developments after-hours today, the same day that a member of the automotive old guard launched a rival to its planned Cybertruck.

The electric car maker’s second-quarter profit of US$104mln back in July was the first time it has managed to turn a profit for four quarters in succession.

READ: Tesla's battery ambitions are significant for patient, medium-term investors

This is one of the boxes the company needs to tick for the shares need to be included in the S&P 500 index, so another quarterly profit can do no harm after missing out last month.

Wall Street analysts on average forecast Tesla’s will deliver an adjusted profit of 57 cents a share for the past quarter, according to FactSet, up from 33 cents per share a year ago, on revenues up 31% year-on-year to US$8.3bn.

The company has already revealed that its factories in California and Shanghai turned out just over 145,000 vehicles in the past quarter, up 76% on last year, while deliveries were up 43% to 139,300.

The rise was driven by a significant boost in the mass-market Model 3 and newer Model Y cars, where combined production increased 60% to 128,044.

Boss Elon Musk recently announced a price cut to the luxury Model S, following cuts to the group’s other models, as he looks to hit his production target for this year of 500,000, which will need output to accelerate to 181,000 in the final three months of the year.

“We think the expectation is that they will fall short and we believe that the Street will be forgiving, understanding that the Covid factory shutdowns were the culprit,” said analysts at CFRA.

The Street and Musk’s legion of investors, fanboys and detractors will all be keen to hear any hints on this, plus updates on the construction of new Tesla gigafactories that are expected to completed next summer in Berlin-Brandenburg, Germany and Austin, Texas.

“The key catalyst for Tesla in the short-term is the growing EV market in China which is supplied through its Gigafactory in Shanghai and the outlook for China sales is key to how the stock price will react," said Peter Garnry, head of equity strategy at Saxo Bank.

“The historical absolute change around earnings releases has been around 9.5% and we expect a lot of volatility around Q3 earnings simply because of the enormous momentum in the stock price this year.”

With the electric car manufacturer's shares up 390% this year there is a lot at stake for investors and Musk, who may have something to say about a rival that for his Cybertruck after it launches late next year.

Battery-powered trucks

Overnight, General Motors Co (NYSE:GM) revived its Hummer brand after a decade but with a new green image that some analysts say will pose the biggest test for Tesla's electric truck.

With a top-of-the-line price tag of US$113,000 and a range of up to 350 miles, the giant Hummer EV will enter in a market that may soon be crowded with upcoming zero-emission trucks from Tesla, Ford and less familiar names like Rivian, Lordstown and Nikola.

Cheaper models of the Hummer EV will be launched each year until the basic model is released in 2024, priced at US$80,000.

The top-priced 'Edition 1' model sold out for the entire first year of production in just an hour, GM said.

Quick facts: Tesla Inc

Price: 574 USD

Market: NASDAQ
Market Cap: $544.1 billion

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