Tesla, Which Has First Model S Sales Decline Since 2012, Explained In Three Charts

Tyler Durden's picture

While Tesla's financial results will hardly be much discussed by either the bulls or bears who follow the company - because it is one of the last remaining "story" stocks - and most will instead focus on the fact that Tesla sold 6,457 Model S cars in the quarter, down 6% from the 6,892 sold in Q4 2013, and the first sequential sales decline since 2012 (Is Tesla about to be Twittered?), here are, for the purists, the only three charts that matter.

First, the EPS. And since we focus on purists, we show both GAAP and non-GAAP EPS:

Second, here is the GAAP and non-GAAP revenues. Yes, Tesla reports non-GAAP revenue:

And finally, Tesla's Free Cash Flow: Q1 was the worst quarter in terms of cash burn since 2012.

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ghostfaceinvestah's picture

It's the weather, of course

Stackers's picture

Saw a Fisker on the road the other day. Very cool looking car. I wonder what you do when it breaks ?

ACP's picture

Cash "burn".

Get it?

TruthInSunshine's picture

I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Fisker Karma once.

James_Cole's picture

Buy the dip, deliveries are supply constrained.

CrashisOptimistic's picture

Sorry, that's what non GAAP means.  Count it when ordered.

max2205's picture

Buy a car and get a space X rocket at half price.....

eatthebanksters's picture

Actually, Fisker's are great if you want to light up a smoke underwater or heat your pool...

Canadian Dirtlump's picture



In other news if you smoke after sex you're doing it too fast.


The only positive thing I can say about  tesla is that this market mania allowed them to actually repay the government. otherwise I think what has always been my view holds that the key to their financial success will be joint ventures with auto manufacturers.

Antifaschistische's picture

It was so cool when you were the only guy with a Tesla because you got easy parking slots with free power sprinkled all over LA.  Now that someone else has bought one....it's making things a bit more challenging

ptoemmes's picture

I saw a Fisker on the side of the road the other day...must have been bad Karma/Kharma.

Rainman's picture

slap an Obama sticker on it and somebody will be by to fix it

tarsubil's picture

Yeah, I saw one yesterday. A roadster sport. Thing looked pretty sweet and fast. Tried to hear if it made any noise. They are cool if nothing else besides toys for the rich.

patb's picture

WHen a Fiskar breaks, you had best hope you have a very very very good mechanic who can work from the manuals

and figure out how to either make parts or find catalog items close enough to fit.

Luckhasit's picture

Same thing you do when you use your paper towel. Throw it away and buy another.  Cuz if your buyin, i doubt money is a problem.

machop's picture

People who buy Fisker don't care. They can buy next Gisker. Like we throw away $50 camera and get another one.

Relentless101's picture

People can't afford to by one whether it's spring, summer, fall, or especially winter.

ghostfaceinvestah's picture

Don't worry about the cash burn, the government will fork over more subsidies.

jcaz's picture

So..... $220 by Friday, right?  


NEOSERF's picture

Alas, Teslas are not ipods....more like Porsche...with the accompanying financials.

Pool Shark's picture



Maybe, but a Porsche doesn't usually need a new $40,000.00 engine installed every 70k miles or so.

Good luck with that battery pack replacement guys.

Saw a new Model S on the road yesterday. The paper plate said: "Zero Emissions."

Felt like rolling down my window and explaining to the smug driver that his "zero emission" Tesla merely shifted the polution to a lower socio-economic neighborhood, and in fact he was a racist for dumping his polution on minorities...


patb's picture

While the battery is warranted for 100K, there is no evidence the battery will not last a reasonable time period.

People said the same thing about Hybrids and plenty of Priuses are still running with 10 year old batteries

Pool Shark's picture



Until very recently the Prius used lead-acid and NiMH batteries; NOT Lithium-ion.

Huge difference...


JuliaS's picture

That is because every hybrid owner I know prefers to drag the weight of a dead battery and an inert electical engine instead of shelling a typical $8K for a replacement pack. I've talked to dealers and they very rarely sell batteries to end customers. Typically a trade-in may get retrofitted with a new battery, as it would have no re-sale potential otherwise, but that is it. By the time a hybrid reaches the end of its cycle, the battery service makes up half of the car's value. That makes trade-ins more appealing and that's exactly what people choose. All part of the plan.

Hybrids are disposable cars - one step away from resembling iPads with a permanently sealed batteries.

Dorelei's picture

Smells like lithium smoke in here ...

TruthInSunshine's picture

Tesla feels so Packard.

De facto bankrupt Panasonic can't possibly build that lithium ion (exploding laptop battery) gigamegafactory in the Arizona desert fast enough.

Elon is quite anxious, you know. At a heat spewing 14,000 to 30,000 laptop batteries per vehicle (despite a cold weather range as low as the double digits in terms of miles) MUST MAKE MOAR EXPENSIVE LITHIUM ION BATTERIES (for shrinking number of sales)...

Sudden Debt's picture

teslas's are packed with 18650 batteries. the same once I use in my vaporizer.
Crappy batteries but cheap as hell.

that gigaflop is a joke. they'll never run a profit that way.

tarsubil's picture

Are you saying that you can use the Tesla batteries to make a death ray that vaporizes people?

Winston Churchill's picture

Just vaporizes profits.
Time to short the POS, the market is just getting around to
Strong support at $0,which is more than its worth.
Surprised no-one has blown the whistle on the battery returns yet, or are people just using them to showboat ?
That would be the only way they can't be happening ,en mass, by deep discharge cycling the battery.

Citxmech's picture

Check out this report on winter driving range issues with the Tesla:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/10/automobiles/stalled-on-the-ev-highway....

No way in hell I would pay that much for this kind of headache.

Winston Churchill's picture

Which just proves there is no new tech here.
Lithium batteries have ALL the same problems as lead acid
ones.The biggest being battery 'memory', reducing available charge after each deep discharge cycle. exponentially from new.You can slow it ,by squaring the syn wave,but not stop it.

patb's picture

Tesla had a response to the Broder Article, that was fairly meritorious.



and the broder counter


and then the public ombudsman



I'd say if you have 85K to spend a Model S is a very good car, however, at 85K it has to be.


naughtius maximus's picture

I know of a technology that has all the advantages of battery powered vehicals and none of the terrible disadvantages:




(an update)


Isotope's picture

Assuming the 3000 mAh version of the 18650 at 3.7 V, I get about 5400 batteries for the smaller 60 kWh version. I have had at least a couple of these little bastards go bad on me in various things. Hope they are using better versions than I had.

Sudden Debt's picture

don't wanne brag but yes...
I'm going to mount it on the roof of my car and it should solve my traffic problems. But for now it's all hush hush capiesh?!

mvsjcl's picture

He's talking about his e-vaporizer. He needs lots of nicotine to keep his arms moving like that constantly.

Ness.'s picture

.: Tesla's first quarter deliveries top forecasts



LOL! #winning #buyyoulemmingsbuy

101 years and counting's picture

just a reminder to bulls, over a long enough time frame, gaap always = non gaap.  non gaap earnings typically fall well short of GAAP during recessions, when corps get rid of all the shit they've piled onto their B/S for the last few years.  its why E typically drop 40-50% during recessions.  

RaceToTheBottom's picture

Accounting has become just a concept; a guideline.  Plus it has been so debased that it is now a joke.

Hockey Goon's picture

Burning through cash, burning through cars...

TheFreeLance's picture

Yeah, well I've rooting for Musk from the sidelines but this does not look good. As a momentum play his unit sales need to trend up -- always.

Spastica Rex's picture

The trouble in River City is that electric cars work as subsidized vanity playthings for the rich - only.

By "rich" I mean something above "middle class." What's "middle class?" I DK, ask Charles Hugh Smith, it ain't me, though.

Do electric cars have a future? Will they work for the bottom 80% at some point? I have no idea.

Winston Churchill's picture

You're right.
Which is why the company is still going with the same defective tech that has always doomed battery vehicles.
If they had normal use, by normal people, the returns would be horrific.
Been there, done that.Maybe I was targeting the wrong market.

patb's picture

The simple issue is Auto Grade Battery must drop below $250/KWH  60cent/ KiloJoule.  

That will happen in the next 2 years.


The Nissan Leaf is a little under range and a little overprice, that will change fast.

Spastica Rex's picture

That may happen in the next 2 years.

We'll all know then, huh?

'Til then, I don't know.

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Electric cars have been "right around the corner" for over a century now.

Gasoline-powered cars beat electric cars in 1905, and nothing meaningful has changed since then. Other than the gigantic supply chain and global infrastructure worth trillions of dollars that supports gasoline powered cars, that is.

ebworthen's picture

The Tesla S is an overpriced golf cart; a gimmick, a decorative trivet, a fad.

In highway driving at 90 degrees with the A.C. on you can go 229 miles, and that is when the batteries are new. 

In other words, if you leave from L.A. you ain't going to make it to Vegas, baby!

B.T.W. - when you are charging you are likely using Coal or NatGas fired electricity; not so environmentally friendly!

And the batteries are less and less efficient with every passing month, and just wait until you have to replace them!

moonman's picture

they really have no place to put the old batteries. They are not recyclable and will melt a hole right down to the magma