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Tesla Motors (TSLA) May Overtake Detroit Steel with Silicon Valley Smarts

Last week, shares of electric automaker Tesla Motors (TSLA: Charts, News, Offers) rallied over 10% despite missing estimates on both the top and bottom lines for its first quarter. Tesla Motors reported a loss of 76 cents per share, missing analysts’ estimates by 7 cents. Tesla also reported a GAAP adjusted loss of 86 cents per share, a 69% plunge from the loss of 51 cents per share it posted in the prior year quarter. Revenue came in at $30.2 million, missing the Street consensus of $31.9 million. On a GAAP adjusted basis, sales slid 38% from the prior year quarter. This is the first revenue decline that Tesla has posted in five consecutive quarters.

Shares have risen 17% since the beginning of the year, despite the speculative nature of the company. To date, Tesla Motors has yet to post a profit. The Palo Alto, California-based automaker, best known for its $100,000 all-electric Tesla Roadster, announced that deliveries of its Model S, a more mainstream sedan that retails for $57,400, are currently ahead of schedule and will arrive prior to its previously announced July shipping date. Despite the high price tag, the Model S is expected to attract upper middle class customers in the United States, who are likely to take advantage of a $7,500 tax credit for electric car purchases. The Model S boasts a range of 300 miles per charge, which exceeds all comparable vehicles from its industry peers.
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