Tesla Inc. reported record quarterly shipments on Sunday. but the number still disappointed analysts.
Tesla said it produced over 365,000 vehicles and made more than 343,000 deliveries in the just-completed third quarter. That was a significant rebound from the second quarter, which reported nearly 259,000 vehicles built and 255,000 deliveries, with production hampered by Chinese plant closures due to COVID-19 outbreaks in the spring.
However, Wall Street analysts expected more in the most recent quarter, forecasting about 371,000 deliveries, according to FactSet data.
At 22,000 vehicles, the gap between production and delivery was significantly higher than usual – in the previous quarter it was around 4,000. While such a wide range could possibly indicate that production is outstripping demand, Tesla said the reason was a logistical crisis at the end of the quarter.
“As our production volume continues to grow, it becomes increasingly difficult to secure vehicle hauling capacity at a reasonable cost during these peak logistics weeks,” the company said in a statement. “In Q3, we began transitioning to a more even regional mix of vehicle designs each week, resulting in an increase in cars in transit at the end of the quarter.”
in the a tweet On Sunday, Chief Executive Elon Musk said he was hoping for “more stable shipments” this quarter.
Wedbush analyst Dan Ives took the statement lightly on Sunday.
“In short, this quarter was nothing special and the street will be disappointed with the softer deliveries. We see this as logistical acceleration rather than demand driven,” he said in a tweet.
Still, Tesla needs to ramp up production significantly in the current quarter to meet its annual growth target.
On Friday, at its second annual AI Day, Tesla unveiled a prototype humanoid robot called Optimus that displayed manual dexterity. Musk said the robots, which are destined for industrial use, cost around $20,000 each and could hit the market in three to five years, although experts were skeptical.
The EV maker is expected to announce its third-quarter earnings results on October 19.
Tesla shares TSLA, -1.10% are down about 25% year-to-date, which roughly matches the -1.51% drop in the S&P 500’s SPX through 2022.