Tesla: Creating a revolution in the luxury car industry

If you are somewhat familiar even a little bit about stocks and have an interest in investing, you probably have heard about the recent boom of Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA) stock. Recently, the stock went as high as $110 a share; this was a 103% increase over a one month period and a 247% increase over a 3 month period.Source: AutoBlog

So you may be thinking, what caused this sudden increase and growth? Tesla stock first jumped 31% on May 8th when it announced its First Quarter sales to be $562 Million and recorded  first quarterly profit in its 10-year history of $15 million.  In a letter to shareholders, CEO Elon Musk mentioned that Tesla delivered 4,900 electric vehicles as well as other important figures. One of them being that their gross margin doubled from 2012 to 17 percent. This was made possible due to better use of raw materials, smarter inventory management, and a reduction in the hours required to build each car by 40 percent over the quarter.

In the first quarter of the year, Tesla delivered more than 4,750 Model S vehicles in the US which when compared to the more traditional luxury car brands such as BMW 7-series and Mercedes S Class, is much higher. BMW sold 2,338 7-Series models in the first quarter while Mercedes sold 3,077 S-Class models. The demand for their most popular model, Model S, is projected to be around 20,000 units per year in North America and in Europe, the current order rate is 200 per week. In order to meet these demands, they have added some changes to their manufacturing process which should drive margins higher.

Some of these changes include:

(1) a reduction in temp workers since the beginning of the      year

(2) increased efficiencies and reduced scrappage both at supplier and in-house production sites

(3) a streamlining of operations leading to a further reduction in full time employee man-hours from 60-70hrs/week previously to 40-50 hrs/week currently

(4) a significant improvement in logistics costs.


Currently their body assembly and finished assembly are still running on a 2 shift basis so the main goal of the production team right now is to get production levels of 20,000 on a single shift across most processes.

With the Tesla Model S being a luxury car and priced at $62,400, I feel that its affordable and much better then other cars. Do you see Tesla continuing to be as successful as they are now and do you think their stock price will continue to go up as it is now? As I mentioned earlier, they out sold Mercedes and BMW luxury models, do you think that will continue to happen in the future as well? What would you rather have, Tesla or other traditional luxury car models?






Earnings forecast: How companies set low expectations to create a “surprise” growth

With the second quarter of 2013 well under way  companies are beginning to put out their first quarter earnings.  271 companies of the Fortune 500 which make up the S&P 500, have reported a earnings growth at 3.9 percent, 2.4 percent higher than the forecast of 1.5 percent. “Some 69 percent of the S&P 500 have beaten forecasts, once again conforming to the pattern of lowering expectations enough to “surprise” by beating them. The 69 percent figure exceeds the long-term average of 63 percent. This has been the pattern for the last 15 quarters, with growth estimates at the beginning of earnings ultimately being beaten by at least a full percentage point.” According to the article, companies are purposely low-balling their estimates only to beat those forecasts at the end of the quarter. This has held true for the past 15 quarters and seems to be the trend going forward. Investors and stakeholders will continue to be surprised and will be looking at positive earnings growth at the end of the quarters. It seems to me as if investors don’t really mind the idea of that since these earnings reports has caused the S&P 500 to rise 1.2 percent since the first company released its earning back on April 8th.

Photo credit: stockopedia.co.uk

Though the companies that have posted earnings have had a good growth, the companies that are yet to report are expected to have a 0.4 percent decline in earnings. Among these companies could be Walmart and Home Depot since they have not posted their earnings yet. First quarter revenue was projected to have 1 percent growth but instead is expected to fall 0.3 percent. Even though, companies have had a success when it comes to profits, revenue forecasts have declined, which goes to show that many companies still have a decline in sales. “’It does concern me. It’s not sustainable over the medium or the long term. There’s only so much companies can do to sustain growth without increasing sales,’ said Paul Zemsky.” They are able to get higher earnings through cutting costs and expenses but not through an increase in sales. This poses a threat to the economy in coming quarters because it will mean that companies will be hiring very less now since they will try their best to cut cost.

After reading this article, I felt that companies have to better forecast their earnings since there is such a gap between the forecast and the actual amount. They may have to use a different forecasting technique to come up with their earnings projections so that there isn’t a “surprise” when the actual numbers come out.

Do you think that companies are doing the right thing by setting low forecasts of earnings? Does this fairly present the true position of a company?  Also, as I mentioned before, many companies are doing good with profits and yet the revenue is going down. Do you think these companies can survive through cost-cutting measures or will they have to do something to increase sales?



“Earnings beating forecasts but jury’s out on rest of season” by Caroline Valetkevitch and Ben Berkowitz