Tesla (TSLA Stock) stock price hits a speed bump

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Tesla’s stock price has been under pressure for most of this month, having fallen below its $1 billion market capitalization, it has struggled to recover from the three-month lows we saw earlier this week.

Last night’s fourth quarter numbers are based on the decent numbers seen in the third quarter. The company posted record annual profit of $5.5 billion, but warned that supply chain issues are likely to be a headwind heading into 2022, and stocks are set to pull back when US markets open later in the day.

Fourth-quarter earnings were CA$2.54, on revenue of $17.72 billion, beating expectations for both.

Automotive margins were flat at 30.6% as the company delivered 308,600 cars in the quarter, most of which were Model 3s and Ys, accounting for nearly 297,000.

Supply chain constraints mean that existing factories are not operating at full capacity and will likely continue to do so for the foreseeable future. The automaker says it is still committed to seeing an annual growth rate in vehicle deliveries of 50%.

On a yearly basis, Tesla produced a total of 936,172 vehicles in 2021, with the expectation that 2022 will push that total well above the 1m mark, to over 1.3m.

The company plans to open its new plant in Austin, Texas, to build many more Model Y cars, while the plant in Germany is also expected to open later this year. Both are still in the “equipment test” phase, which suggests they’re still a long way from being ready for full production, and that’s a concern if they’re able to meet their goals of growth.

On the Cybertruck project, production here appears to have been pushed back to 2023, with Tesla saying no new models will be produced this year and the focus will remain on its current lineup of vehicles.

Competition in this sector is expected to become much more intense over the next few years, with the arrival of new competition in the form of Rivian, as well as the need to deal with companies like Ford, GM and Volkswagen looking to accelerate their electric vehicle offerings, Tesla will have to work much harder to maintain its rich valuation even if it continues to generate the record profits it has made.

Let’s not forget that Tesla is still worth more than Volkswagen, Toyota and Ford combined, and still doesn’t sell as many cars.

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