Tesla Posts Strong Deliveries Despite Supply Chain Issues, Shanghai COVID Closure

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Tesla released its first quarter delivery numbers over the weekend, which were slightly below analysts’ expectations despite ongoing supply chain challenges and factory shutdowns, notably Shanghai’s COVID-19 lockdowns. Tesla stock was up 6.9% in pre-market trading as of Monday, Apr. 4.

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The company said it produced 305,407 vehicles and delivered 310,048 vehicles, according to an announcement. It produced 14,218 and delivered 14,724 Model S/X, and produced 291,189 and delivered 295,324 Model 3/Y vehicles. Analysts expected 312,000 deliveries, according to Wedbush Securities, although some analysts had lowered their expectations due to the Shanghai factory closing.

“This was an *exceptionally* difficult quarter due to supply chain interruptions & China zero Covid policy. Outstanding work by Tesla team & key suppliers saved the day,” CEO Elon Musk tweeted Apr. 2.

Set to resume production at its Shanghai factory April 1, Tesla further delayed the reopening following COVID-19 lockdowns. And on April 4, Bloomberg reported that Tesla’s factory in Shanghai will stay closed Monday, according to an emailed company memo.

The Shanghai factory, located in the Pudong district east of the city’s Huangpu River, suspended production last week, after the city launched a two-stage lockdown to combat a surge in COVID-19 cases.

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Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives said he characterizes the delivery results as “better than feared” and ahead of lowered Street whisper numbers in light of recent COVID shutdowns in China and massive logistics complications delivering units to customers in Europe.

“We believe roughly 20k-25k units were pushed out of 1Q into 2Q due to the logistical and factory issues which makes this underlying demand number still look strong with a robust trajectory for the rest of 2022,” Ives wrote in the note sent to GOBankingRates.

“Relative to other automakers such as GM and Ford, as well as Chinese EV players such as NIO, Xpeng, and others, we view these delivery and production numbers as a positive step in the right direction for the next step of the Tesla growth story to take hold with Berlin and Austin factories now green lighted,” Ives said. “The bears will point to Tesla missing ‘headline Street estimates’ although we believe the supply/logistics issues for Tesla in the last week of the quarter were piling up and most investors will look through the slight official headline miss on deliveries.”

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Wedbush said it remains “steadfastly bullish” on the Tesla story and believes when factoring in all the manufacturing headwind dynamics “this was a modestly bullish print.” Wedbush is maintaining its Outperform opinion and a $1,400 price target.

Tesla will post its financial results for the first quarter of 2022 after market close on Wednesday, Apr. 20.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.

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