Tesla has posted record profits once again, overcoming supply chain issues that have dogged the broader auto industry to blow away Wall Street's forecast for the company for the first quarter of 2022.
But the company warned that it is not immune from supply chain problems, which it said limited "our ability to run our factories at full capacity," a situation that will likely persist through the rest of 2022, it added. A recent Covid outbreak and lockdown rules in China forced it to temporarily shut its factory in Shanghai earlier this month.
"Recent Covid-19 outbreaks have been weighing on our supply chain and factory operations," Tesla said. "Furthermore, prices of some raw materials have increased multiple-fold in recent months. The inflationary impact on our cost structure has contributed to adjustments in our product pricing."
Still, even with supply chain issues the company earned adjusted income of $3.7 billion, much higher than the $2.6 billion forecast by analysts surveyed by Refinitiv. It also was more than triple the $1.1 billion it earned on that basis a year ago and 30% higher than the previous record of $2.9 billion it posted in the fourth quarter of last year.
Revenue of $18.8 billion also easily topped forecasts, rising 6% from the fourth quarter sales and 81% from the year ago total. Demand for its cars was so strong that the days supply of vehicles it had available for customer fell to only 3 days.
Supply chain problems, most notably a shortage of computer chips, has led to cuts in production worldwide at virtually all automakers. That has led to tight supplies of vehicles and record high prices for car buyers.
Most automakers sell their cars through a network of dealers who are independent businesses, and who profit from buyers paying above the manufacturers' suggested retail price, or what is known as sticker price.
But Tesla sells its cars only in company-owned stores, putting it in a better to profit from the higher prices it gets for its cars.
Shares of Tesla jumped 5% in after-hours trading following the company's earnings report.
- Chris Isidore, CNN