A year ago, Tesla Motors' first quarter earnings report was one of their rosiest ones ever, with the company posting its first ever profitable quarter. That's not the case this time around. Today the nascent automaker posted a quarterly loss of nearly $50 million.
The reason: growing pains, specifically development of the upcoming Tesla Model X SUV, adding more Supercharger stations, starting construction of the Gigafactory battery plant or plants, and increasing production capacity. From their quarterly report:
With all these initiatives, we expect to be slightly free cash flow negative in 2014, before considering the equity required for leasing. This should be another year of focused execution of our aggressive expansion plans.
Part of the losses were due to R&D expenses being up 17 percent from Q4 2013 for Model X development and adapting the Model S for international markets.
Is this bad news for the automaker? I don't think so. It just means they're growing, and sometimes that comes with taking losses.
Still, there are some rays of sunshine in the report. The company said they produced a record 7,535 Model S sedans for global sale in the first quarter of 2014 and delivered nearly 6,500 cars. They have commenced production of the powertrains for the Mercedes B-Class, and plan to invest $650-850 million in capital expenditures to increase production capacity.
In other news, the location of the Gigafactory remains undetermined, so stay tuned on that front.