Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA.O) reported a steeper than expected quarterly loss on Wednesday on higher spending at its vehicle and battery factories, even as the company said it planned to accelerate store openings around the world.
The 13th straight quarterly loss for the Silicon Valley electric carmaker underscores the financial hurdles that hamper it while it takes on increasingly ambitious goals – a ten-fold ramp of vehicle production in three years and the recent plan to acquire solar panel installer SolarCity Corp (SCTY.O).
Tesla, led by entrepreneur Elon Musk, said it was still on track to deliver about 50,000 new Model S and Model X vehicles during the second half of 2016, and reiterated that it would spend $2.25 billion in capital expenditures in 2016 to prepare for its upcoming Model 3 sedan.
The company made no reference to a projection made in February that it would be net cash flow positive for the full year 2016.
Shares of Tesla, which offered to buy SolarCity for $2.6 billion, were little changed in after-hours trading.
“Making cars is hard… and they still are in the growth stage – the market seems to want to give him (Musk) the benefit of the doubt,” said Tigress Financial Partners analyst Ivan Feinseth, who added Tesla “has never met any of their projections.”
Tesla reported last month that it had missed its vehicle delivery target for the second consecutive quarter, raising doubts that it would hit its annual target.
Tesla delivered 14,402 vehicles in the second quarter, below its goal of 17,000. With 14,810 vehicles delivered in the first quarter, also less than its target, Tesla could end the year just shy of its original delivery target of 80,000 to 90,000 vehicles if it delivers 50,000 cars in the second half of 2016.
The company said it planned to open a new store every four days on average for the rest of the year, but did not disclose how much it would cost.
“We are adding stores in new population-dense markets
like Taipei, Seoul, and Mexico City, while also adding stores in our most mature markets like California,” Tesla said.
Excluding items, Tesla lost $1.06 per share in the three months ended June 30, compared with 48 cents a year earlier.
Analysts on average had expected a loss of 52 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
For a graph on Tesla’s results, click here: tmsnrt.rs/1kpNS9J
Tesla said its net loss widened to $293.2 million, or $2.09 per share, in the second quarter, from $184.2 million, or $1.45 per share, a year earlier. Total revenue rose 33 percent to $1.27 billion in the quarter ended June 30.
Although gross margins will widen by 2-3 percentage points in the second half of the year, adjusted operating expenses will increase for the full year by 30 percent, Tesla said.
Musk sketched out an ambitious plan last month to venture into manufacturing electric trucks and buses, as well as expanding the company’s solar energy business.
He has cast the SolarCity tie-up as a long-term bet on a carbon-free energy and transportation company that provides cars, battery storage, solar panels and other energy solutions, while leveraging technology and cost savings from the combined entity.
SolarCity’s chairman and biggest shareholder, Musk has said the combined company will help save at least $150 million a year and require only a “small equity capital raise” next year. But some analysts are wary of the combination of two companies burning through huge amounts of cash.
Tesla unveiled its massive battery factory, the Gigafactory, in Nevada last week, saying it would begin to ramp up production later this year.
While much of the production will go toward batteries for vehicles, Tesla has also said it expects rising demand for home and commercial storage battery systems.
(Reporting by Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru and Alexandria Sage in San Francisco; Editing by Savio D’Souza and Bernard Orr)