When Tesla finally joined the S&P 500 index in December 2020, the profitability criterion - an eligible company's most recent quarter’s earnings and the sum of its trailing four consecutive quarters’ earnings must be positive - was the last box to be checked by the electric car maker. And while Tesla has a history of loss-making, even bringing it "within single-digit weeks" of bankruptcy in 2018, according to CEO Elon Musk, those days appear to be in the past, as the company's latest earnings reports have impressively underlined.
In the three months ended June 30, Tesla not only broke its previous records for vehicle production and deliveries, with both exceeding 200,000 for the first time, it also broke the $1 billion barrier in terms of quarterly profit. The fact that Tesla was able to reach these milestones despite considerable headwinds, most notably COVID-19, a global semiconductor shortage and port congestion, makes the results even more impressive. In Q3 though, the company took its profit to a whole other level. As this infographic shows, net income attributable to Tesla's common shareholders hit $1.62 billion - an increase of almost $500m on the already impressive Q2.
Looking forward, Tesla sees "public sentiment and support for electric vehicles seems to be at a never-before-seen inflection point" and global vehicle demand at record levels, but warns that the aforementioned supply chain challenges will have a strong influence and possibly limit delivery growth for the rest of the year. These developments can already be seen in a different segment of the car manufacturer's business: Its gross profit with energy generation and storage sank to just $3 million in the past quarter, an 86 percent decline when compared to Q3 2020.