Tesla profit, vague vehicle delivery forecast disappoint Wall Street, shares fall

FILE PHOTO: A woman charges a Tesla car in front of the electric vehicle maker’s showroom in Beijing, China January 5, 2021. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang/File Photo GLOBAL BUSINESS WEEK AHEAD

(Reuters) – Tesla Inc’s fourth-quarter profit fell short of Wall Street expectations and the company on Wednesday did not provide a clear 2021 vehicle delivery target, sending shares down 5.7% in extended trade.

The disappointing results capped an otherwise stellar 2020 for the electric carmaker, which had seen Tesla shares surge nearly 700% over the past 12 months.

Investors had hoped for a significant increase over the company’s 2020 delivery goal of half a million vehicles, but Tesla on Wednesday provided only a vague outlook.

The company delivered 180,570 vehicles during the fourth quarter, a quarterly record, even though it narrowly missed its ambitious 2020 goal of half a million deliveries.

“Over a multi-year horizon, we expect to achieve 50% average annual growth in vehicle deliveries. In some years we may grow faster, which we expect to be the case in 2021,” Tesla said in a statement.

The carmaker, led by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, said quarterly revenue rose to $10.74 billion from $7.38 billion a year earlier. Analysts had expected revenue of $10.4 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

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