Strong Tesla sales are a ‘drop the mic’ moment, analyst says

Tesla Inc.’s quarterly sales zoomed past expectations, leading one analyst to call them a “drop the mic” number despite earlier Wall Street worries about chip and parts shortages that have plagued the auto industry.

Tesla TSLA, -0.93% “yet again defied the skeptics and bears,” Dan Ives with Wedbush said in a note Friday.

The strength in the quarter was driven by Model 3 and Model Y sales, he said. Wall Street had braced for the impact of shortages on Tesla sales, making the above-expectations sales “a massive homerun in the eyes of the bulls,” Ives said.

Tesla earlier Friday reported that first-quarter deliveries, its proxy for sales, totaled 184,800 vehicles, blowing past the FactSet consensus of 168,000. The Silicon Valley electric-car maker said it produced just over 180,000 vehicles in the period.

Tesla sold 182,780 of its Model 3 sedan and Model Y compact SUV. The FactSet consensus was for 122,600 Model 3s and about 10,000 Model Ys.

The company said in a statement that it was “encouraged by the strong reception of the Model Y in China and are quickly progressing to full production capacity.” Tesla sold 88,000 vehicles in the first quarter of 2020, a period marred by pandemic-related factory shutdowns.

General Motors Co. GM, +0.59% earlier this week reported that its total U.S. sales were up 4% amid a sharp rise in demand.

The stock market is closed Friday, but Tesla shares are down 6.2% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 SPX, +1.18% has gained 7%. The stock is up 628% in the last 12 months.


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