The company recorded $9 billion in total revenue. That was slightly lower than fourth quarter sales but up 75% from the year-earlier period.
Shares of the company fell 3% in premarket trading.
But it has been profitable since the third quarter of 2019, and the stock has soared since then, climbing 1349% since it reported that third quarter profit in 2019. It is one of the nation’s most valuable companies and its stock is worth more than the combined value of the world’s seven largest automakers.
Musk said the company should be able to stick to its target for better than 50% growth in sales this year, which would take sales over the 750,000 mark, and that it would be able to continue 50% sales growth annually beyond that. It has plants under construction in Texas and Germany, although he cautioned Monday that he expects only initial limited production from those factories this year. He said the two plants won’t have volume production until 2022.
Lars Moravy, Tesla’s vice president of vehicle engineering, said the company is working with federal safety investigators and local police. He said that because the steering wheel was “deformed” it is now believed there was in fact someone in the driver’s seat at the time of the crash. And he did caution “further investigation of the vehicle and accident remains.”
Musk said that the company is making great progress on developing fully self driving cars, and the he believes it will be the key factor distinguishing it from other companies.
“Right now, people think of Tesla as a car company or energy company. I think long term, people will think of Tesla as much as an AI [artificial intelligence] robotics company as we are a car company or an energy company,” he said. “I think we are developing one of the strongest hardware and software AI teams in the world.”
Some critics of Tesla have questioned the strength of its earnings, pointing to the fact that its “adjusted” earnings excludes some costs such as stock compensation.
But many companies report adjusted earnings as well as a stricter version of net income that follow generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP results. And even under those GAAP rules Tesla reported net income of $438 million, itself a record.
The revenue and adjusted earnings both topped forecasts of Wall Street analysts surveyed by Refinitiv, although on a GAAP basis its net income fell a bit short of expectations.