Tesla reported losses of $108 million in the fourth quarter of 2014, nearly seven times more than it incurred in the same period a year earlier. The result was a loss of 13 cents per share when many Wall Street analysts were calling for a quarterly profit. Shares then fell 3% in after hours trading Wednesday, to $193.74.
The problem cited by the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company was delays in production of its Model S, which prevented the automaker from shipping vehicles to its customers due to severe winter weather and vacation time towards the end of December.
Tesla also reported weaker than expected sales in China. Nonetheless, the company remains upbeat about its future performance, in both the near and long term. “Both vehicle production and demand are expected to accelerate in 2015,” read a statement that accompanied the earnings release, which also claimed that the company planned to produce and ship 55,000 cars in 2015, up from around 33,000 this year. CEO Elon Musk, meanwhile, downplayed “this whole China thing…it’s not like we had a bunch of cars we could have sold. We are production constrained.”
Last year, which ended with an annual loss of $294 million, was a significant one for Tesla. The company began the construction of its gigafactory in Reno after Nevada won what was essentially a six-state auction for the development plan. Tesla also dealt with bans on its method of bypassing dealerships and selling directly to consumers in Arizona, Texas, Michigan, and New Jersey. In 2015, aside from upping shipments by nearly 70%, Tesla plans to unveil its first ever SUV, the Model X. In 2016, the company hopes to be producing its own battery packs, with help from Panasonic, at its Nevada gigafactory.
On the company’s earnings call, Musk also announced plans to unveil a home energy storage product. “We are going to unveil the Tesla home battery, the consumer battery that would be for use in people’s houses or businesses fairly soon,” Musk said. The idea behind the batteries would be to combine them with solar panels to store energy, and enable consumers to be less reliant on electricity from utilities.