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Why Is Tesla (TSLA) Up 8.1% Since Last Earnings Report?

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It has been about a month since the last earnings report for Tesla (TSLA - Free Report) . Shares have added about 8.1% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Tesla due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important catalysts.

Tesla Q4 Earnings Miss Estimates

Tesla came up with a disappointing fourth-quarter 2023 show, missing both earnings and revenue estimates. Fourth-quarter earnings per share of 71 cents missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 75 cents and also declined from the year-ago figure of $1.19. Total revenues of $25.17 billion also lagged the consensus mark of $25.94 billion but inched up 3% year over year.

Key Takeaways

Tesla’s fourth-quarter production totaled 494,989 units (476,777 Model 3/Y, and 18,212 other models), up 13% year over year, and surpassed our estimate of 481,420 units. The company delivered 484,507 vehicles, reflecting a year-over-year rise of 20% and topping our estimate of 476,620 units. The Model 3/Y registered deliveries of 461,538 vehicles, marking year-over-year growth of 19% and outpacing our projection by 3,646 units.

Total automotive revenues of $21,563 million were up 1% year over year but lagged our estimate of $22,385 million. The reported figure also included $433 million from the sale of regulatory credits for electric vehicles, which decreased 7% year over year. Automotive sales, excluding revenues from leasing and regulatory credits, totaled $20,630 million, missing our projection of $21,468 million on lower-than-expected ASPs.

Automotive gross profit came in at $4,065 million. Automotive gross margin came in at 18.8%, down from 25.9% reported in fourth-quarter 2022 but topping our forecast of 18.4%. This can be attributed to lower-than-expected cost of automotive sales. The metric came in at 17,498 million, below our projection of 18,273 million.Tesla’s operating margin declined 964 basis points year over year to 7.6% in the quarter under discussion and also lagged our estimate of 7.9%.

Energy Generation and Storage revenues came in at $1,438 million in fourth-quarter 2023, higher than the year-ago quarter’s figure of $1,310 million but lagging our estimate of $1,591 million. Notably, energy storage deployments came in at 3.2 GWh, falling short of our projection of 4.1 GWh. Solar deployments declined both on a sequential and yearly basis amid high interest rates. The metric came in at 41 MW, significantly missing our forecast of 90MW.   

Services and Other revenues were $2,166 million, up 27.3% year over year, but missed our estimate of $2,203 million. Supercharging, part sales, used vehicle sales and merchandise sales drove growth on a year-over-year basis.


Tesla had cash/cash equivalents/investments of $29,094 million as of Dec 31, 2023, compared with $22,185 million on Dec 31, 2022. Long-term debt and finance leases, net of the current portion, totaled $2,857 million, up from $1,597 million on Dec 31, 2022.

Net cash provided by operating activities amounted to $4,370 million in fourth-quarter 2023. Capital expenditure totaled $2,306 million in the quarter under review. Tesla generated a free cash flow of $2,064 million during the reported quarter, which rose from $1,420 million generated in the year-ago period.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

In the past month, investors have witnessed a downward trend in estimates revision.

The consensus estimate has shifted -21.77% due to these changes.

VGM Scores

Currently, Tesla has a subpar Growth Score of D, though it is lagging a bit on the Momentum Score front with an F. Charting a somewhat similar path, the stock was allocated a grade of D on the value side, putting it in the bottom 40% for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of F. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.


Estimates have been broadly trending downward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions indicates a downward shift. Notably, Tesla has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.

Performance of an Industry Player

Tesla belongs to the Zacks Automotive - Domestic industry. Another stock from the same industry, Paccar (PCAR - Free Report) , has gained 8.3% over the past month. More than a month has passed since the company reported results for the quarter ended December 2023.

Paccar reported revenues of $8.59 billion in the last reported quarter, representing a year-over-year change of +11.1%. EPS of $2.70 for the same period compares with $1.76 a year ago.

Paccar is expected to post earnings of $2.13 per share for the current quarter, representing a year-over-year change of -5.3%. Over the last 30 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate has changed +1.8%.

The overall direction and magnitude of estimate revisions translate into a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) for Paccar. Also, the stock has a VGM Score of A.

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