Tesla surprises all; Reports astonishing profit amid the pandemic

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Global electric car maker, Tesla surprised trade analysts across the globe with a surprising $104 million net profit for the second quarter.

This was the firm’s fourth-straight quarter in profit which qualifies it to be included in the S&P 500 index along with some of the biggest corporations in the international business.

Earlier, the California government had forced Tesla to close its only U.S. assembly factory in Fremont, California, from March 23 to May 11 as part of the COVID-19 induced lockdowns. The company paid roughly 10,000 workers for part of the shutdown and continued health care and other benefits.

Excluding one-time items such as $347 million in stock-based compensation, Tesla made $2.18 cents per share which beat Wall Street’s estimates of a break-even quarter. Revenue was down 4.9% from a year ago to $6.04 billion for the quarter which was also higher than the estimates of $5.15 billion.

Tesla said its progress in the first half of the year has positioned it for success in the second half as production output continues to improve.

Although there were no details shared, the firm said that it has already picked a site for its second U.S. assembly plant. The Austin, Texas, area appeared to be the front-runner but Tulsa, Oklahoma, was a possibility.

The surprising profit, compared with a $408 million loss a year ago, pushed Tesla’s shares up 5.1% to $1,674.09 in after-hours trading. The firm’s profits have been largely credited to the $428 million it earned from selling electric vehicle credits to other automakers so they can meet government fuel economy and pollution regulations.

The company said its profit increased over the first quarter’s tiny $16 million because of “fundamental operational improvements.”