It’s easy to get caught up in the wave of euphoria that is Tesla Motors, especially when they’re bucking the odds by producing viable, stylish and high quality electric vehicles and making money while doing it. One can forget, ahem…to look a little closer at what’s being reported.
The Palo Alto, California-based EV maker with the perpetually higher-than-expected stock price reported that its earnings for the third quarter were up two cents a share. That’s great news considering the company wasn’t expected to make any money.
However, some – mostly us – overlooked the quirk that is Tesla and its reporting practices. Tesla stubbornly clings to reporting non-GAAP numbers whereas the rest of the world uses GAAP results.
When you look at the GAAP, short for Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, figures, which Tesla did provide further down in the letter to its shareholders the numbers don’t look so rosy.
“(Tesla’s) Q3 non-GAAP net income was $3 million, or $0.02 per share based on 142.7 million diluted shares, while Q3 GAAP net loss was $75 million or $(0.60) per share, consistent with our guidance even with the additional one-time items.”
Non-GAAP revenue was $932 million for the quarter, up 55% from a year ago, while GAAP revenue was $852 million.