What to expect in Tesla’s first quarter earnings report

Tesla (TSLA) is set to report first-quarter earnings results Wednesday after market close, giving investors a look at the automaker’s financial performance in the three-month period that included the start of Tesla’s Fremont factory closure and weakening auto demand at-large as the coronavirus outbreak spread.

Here were the main metrics expected from the report, compared to consensus estimates compiled by Bloomberg:

As has been the case for many automakers, Tesla rolled back domestic production as widespread stay-in-place orders across the country forced residents to avoid most workspaces. Tesla suspended production at its Fremont factory starting at the end of the day March 23 and temporarily halted non-essential work at its New York factory, where the company produces its solar roof tiles. Tesla also announced it would be implementing “touchless deliveries” at many of its locations in effort to facilitate purchases even with social distancing measures in place.

Investors will be monitoring Tesla’s results and subsequent call with analysts Wednesday afternoon for signs of when production at the company’s flagship Fremont factory could resume, especially after a string of counties in the San Francisco Bay Area extended their shelter-in-place orders through the end of May earlier this week. Ahead of earnings results, CEO Elon Musk said in a Twitter post to “FREE AMERICA NOW” as major metropolitan areas across the country remain under stay-in-place orders.

Even amid the late-quarter disruptions, Tesla posted better-than-expected first-quarter vehicle deliveries, suggesting the company entered the pandemic period from a position of strength. The first quarter was the first to include deliveries of Model Y crossover SUVs and also encompassed Tesla’s recently ramped up production at the Shanghai Gigafactory in China.

Unlike peer U.S. automakers General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler, Tesla reported first-quarter vehicle deliveries that increased over last year. First-quarter deliveries totaled 88,400 for the first three months of the year, up 40% over the same period in 2019.

HANGZHOU, CHINA – APRIL 21: A Tesla logo is seen at a Tesla store on April 21, 2020 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province of China. (Photo by Long Wei/VCG via Getty Images)

In January, Tesla said it believed full-year deliveries would “comfortably exceed 500,000.” However, many analysts assume that given the coronavirus developments across the globe, expectations will need to be pared back. Tesla did not provide a new 2020 deliveries outlook in its early April production and deliveries report for the first quarter.

“With the second half of March seeing a screeching halt in demand across the globe given the current pandemic, the big question for investors heading into earnings and the conference call is around the demand trajectory for 2Q/rest of the year and cash burn as this uncertain consumer environment plays out in the field,” Wedbush analyst Dan Ives wrote in a note Monday.

“It appears China production and demand are starting to significantly rebound and should be a key growth driver over the coming quarters, although clear challenges remain in the months ahead as Tesla (and every other company) navigates this treacherous consumer landscape and spending environment abound,” he added.

Despite the coronavirus-induced challenges for the auto industry as a whole, Tesla’s stock has remained resilient for the year to date. Shares have risen 90% since the start of 2020, far outperforming the broader market.

This post will be updated with Tesla’s 1Q earnings results after market close Thursday.

Emily McCormick is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @emily_mcck

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