Tesla reported a record loss of $710 million in the first quarter and continues to burn through cash as it pushes to ramp up production of its mass market Model 3 vehicle.
The loss of $3.35 per share was less than the $3.58 to $3.54 that analysts had expected. But Tesla’s shares nevertheless declined nearly 6% in after-hours trading to $283.10.
Despite the fifth straight quarter of record losses, Tesla spun the results as a positive along with voicing optimism about the rest of 2018. Tesla made “significant progress” on increasing production of the Model 3, a mass market vehicle designed to propel in the second half of the first quarter, Tesla said in a letter to shareholders.
Tesla’s goal is to produce 5,000 of the cars weekly by the end of the second quarter, a goal that Tesla CEO Elon Musk has promised before and missed. The company said in April it had produced 2,270 weekly, meaning Tesla must nearly double its production by the end of June.
If able to achieve its goal, Tesla says it will turn a profit, excluding stock based compensation in the third quarter and fourth quarter.
Tesla also reported first quarter revenue of $3.41 billion, up more than 6% from $3.2 billion in the previous quarter and 19% higher than the same quarter last year.
The company said it has cut back its capital expenditures forecast “by focusing on the critical near-term needs that benefit us primarily in the next couple of years,” the company said in its shareholder letter. The company expects to spend just under $3 billion in 2018 on less than the $3.4 billion it spent in 2017.