By Nathalie Voit
Electric vehicle maker Tesla reported record earnings and revenue in the fourth quarter despite ongoing supply-chain issues and rising raw materials costs that cut into the company’s profit.
According to its Q4 2021 update, total revenue grew 65% year-over-year in the fourth quarter to $17.7 billion, surpassing the $16.57 billion predicted by Refinitiv analysts.
Automotive revenue was $15.97 billion, up 71% from the previous year’s levels.
Revenue for the energy generation and storage division totaled $688 million, down 8% and below analyst estimates. The figure was the lowest revenue for the segment since the first quarter of 2021.
Net income settled at $2.32 billion for the quarter, up 760%, while gross margin rose 0.8% from Q3 levels to 27.4%, the company said.
Adjusted earnings topped $2.9 billion, or $2.52 per share in Q4. The figure was higher than the $2.6 billion, or $2.36 per share, forecasted by Refinitiv analysts and more than triple 2020’s fourth-quarter results of $903 million, according to the release.
The company’s strong performance in Q4 brought full-year earnings and revenue to $7.6 billion and $53.8 billion, respectively.
“With the chip shortage still a major overhang on the auto space and logistical issues globally, this impressive earnings beat speaks to an EV demand trajectory that looks quite robust for Tesla heading into 2022,” said tech analyst for Wedbush Securities Dan Ives, according to CNN.
However, CEO Elon Musk said he expected Tesla to continue to face a computer chip shortage heading into 2022, hampering plans for the EV maker to introduce any new models into the market this year.
“We will not be introducing new vehicle models this year. We will still be parts constrained,” Musk said on the company’s earnings call.
He said Tesla would instead prioritize deliveries.
“The fundamental focus of Tesla this year is scaling output,” he said, noting that he expects deliveries to grow by 50% annually.
The company has already boosted sales by 87% over 2020. Total sales in 2021 hit 936,000, nearly double the company’s 500,000 vehicle sales the previous year, according to a Tesla Q4 2021 Vehicle Production & Deliveries release.
“There should no longer be doubt about the viability and profitability of electric vehicles,” Musk said in the update.
“With our deliveries up 87% in 2021, we achieved the highest quarterly operating margin among all volume OEMs, based on the latest available data, demonstrating that EVs can be more profitable than combustion engine vehicles.”