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When Tesla finally joined the S&P 500 index in December 2020, the profitability criterion – an eligible company’s most recent quarter’s earnings and the sum of its trailing four consecutive quarters’ earnings must be positive – was the last box to be checked by the electric car maker. And while Tesla has a history of loss-making, even bringing it “within single-digit weeks” of bankruptcy in 2018, according to CEO Elon Musk, those days appear to be in the past, as the company’s latest earnings report impressively underlined.
In the three months ended June 30, Tesla not only broke its previous records for vehicle production and deliveries, with both exceeding 200,000 for the first time, it also broke the $1 billion barrier in terms of quarterly profit. The fact that Tesla was able to reach these milestones despite considerable headwinds, most notably COVID-19, a global semiconductor shortage and port congestion, makes the latest results even more impressive.
Looking forward, Tesla sees “public sentiment and support for electric vehicles seems to be at a never-before-seen inflection point” and global vehicle demand at record levels, but warns that the aforementioned supply chain challenges will have a strong influence and possibly limit delivery growth for the rest of the year.
This chart shows the quarterly profit/loss of Tesla.