Last week, Tesla announced that the Model S received the maximum-possible 5-star safety rating from the European New Car Assessment Programme. It is the only car this year to have received best ratings, both from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Euro NCAP.
This announcement coincided with Tesla’s third quarter earnings release in which the company showed a net loss of 60 cents per share as opposed to the 32 cents per share loss of the third quarter of 2013.
Even though total revenues increased by more than 97 percent in the past year—from over $431 million in the third quarter of 2013 to over $851 million this quarter—the company keeps losing money. Losses nearly doubled from almost $38.5 million in the third quarter of 2013, to over $74.7 million in the last quarter.
Furthermore, analyst expectations were not met. Revenue came out below the $884 million Bloomberg-surveyed analysts expected. The company’s loss this quarter was also more than the $38.8 million the Bloomberg consensus expected.
Still, the day after Tesla released earnings and made the announcement about the Model S safety ratings, the stock went up from $230.97 to $241.22. Almost a 4.5 percent increase.
“Only two other cars have earned the same recognition since 2011 (when NHTSA introduced its latest rating scheme),” read the company’s press release.
Despite a negative earnings release, unexpected good news about the product can reflect positively on the stock price. The recent change in price mirrors the Aug. 20, 2013 rise of 3.23 percent the day after the company announced that the NHTSA had awarded the Model S the best rating of any car ever tested.
Yet, good news about the product’s safety rating will not result in an immediate boost in production. The number of Model S coming out of the factory door will not ramp up from here to the end of the year, although it is expected to increase in the long run.
“Tesla recently warned that production issues will hurt Q4 deliveries and meaningfully penalize the quarter’s profits,” wrote Efraim Levy, equity analyst at S&P, in his Nov. 10 note. “Still, production and sales volume levels should rise more than 50% per year in each of the next two years, supporting dramatic non-gaap net income growth.”
Tesla delivered 7,785 Model S in the third quarter of 2014 and expects to sell a total of 35,000 units in 2014.
Safety is something that the company emphasized in the first page of its third quarter letter to shareholders.
“We also recently introduced new standard safety features and components of our Autopilot system,” reads the letter. “Every Model S coming out of the factory (single and Dual Motor) now has the hardware installed for these features.”