Amazon to invest $1 billion in supply chain companies

Tesla had a huge quarter, significantly beating analyst estimates with profit of $3.32 billion on revenue of $18.7 billion (up 81% year-over-year ). And while many hoped Musk would give hints of where to go next with Twitter, he instead outlined where Tesla is next. Here are some key takeaways from Tesla’s earnings call.

Tesla absolutely crushed Wall Street expectations.

According to Barron’s, Wall Street was expecting earnings of $2.20 to $2.30 a share and about $18 billion in revenue, Tesla estimates beats it hands down. The company also made about $1 billion in operating profit more than analysts expected. Tesla’s stock price has jumped around 5% in after-hours trading to $1,017 per share since closing at around $976.

Musk wants more people to get into the lithium business.

The supply chain is tightly squeezing Tesla. One of the main supply chain challenges the company faces is lithium, but not because of its shortage. Musk said the element is “almost everywhere,” but the steps to refine it are expensive and arduous. Musk sees this as a problem for the entire electric vehicle industry. His solution? More people need to get into the lithium business, he said.

“Can other people come into the lithium business please?” Musk said. “Do you like minting money? Well, the lithium business is for you.”

Supply chain issues resulted in a boon for the company: part of the reason it had a high profit margin is that due to the higher average selling price of its vehicles (the company increased the prices of its entire fleet by 5% to 10% this last quarter). But because of that, he doesn’t expect vehicle prices to rise again soon.

“Our prices for vehicles ordered now really anticipate the growth in supplier and logistics costs that … we believe will occur over the next six to 12 months,” Musk said. “That’s why we have price increases today, because a car order today will in some cases arrive a year from now.”

The company will host a product event for its long-awaited RoboTaxi next year.

Musk has been talking for years about a Tesla RoboTaxi, essentially a driverless Uber. Now, it looks like the company is about to put them on the road. Musk didn’t divulge too many details, but said the company plans to hold a product event next year and is aiming for volume production in 2024.

He also predicts that they will be really, really cheap.

“Looking at some of our projections, it looks like a RoboTaxi ride will cost less than a…subsidized bus ticket or a subsidized subway ticket,” Musk said.

We’ll believe it when we see it.

Musk predicts that Tesla Bots will be a bigger business than cars.

Musk is a firm believer in Tesla’s Optimus Project, which aims to create full-fledged humanoid robots called Tesla Bots. Tesla Bots, first announced last August, will be 5 feet 8 inches tall, weigh 125 pounds and can move about five miles per hour. It will use an autopilot system similar to that of Tesla cars. Musk said on the earnings call that the importance of the program “will become evident in the years to come.”

“I was surprised that people didn’t realize the magnitude of the Optimus robot program,” Musk said. “Those who are discerning or who listen carefully will understand that Optimus will ultimately be worth more than the automotive industry.”

OK that works! We can’t wait to see how Musk’s many projects pan out. In the meantime… lithium mining, anyone?

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About Bob C. Zoller

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