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Tesla has high expectations for its first-quarter earnings after setting record car deliveries

Tesla recently broke records for car deliveries, so now Wall Street expectations for revenue are at an all-time high.

Asa Mathat

After posting a series of record vehicle deliveries recently, Tesla is set to report its first-quarter earnings tomorrow after market close. Expectations are high.

Wall Street forecasts the electric vehicle manufacturer to lose 81 cents a share on $2.6 billion in sales for the three months ending in March. The Elon Musk-helmed company delivered a record-setting 25,000 Model X and Model S cars in this period. Tesla generated $2.28 billion in revenue in the last quarter of 2016.

Tesla’s delivery numbers are a good sign for a company that has a history of missing its own deadlines, particularly as it ramps up production for its first mass-market car, the Model 3. The record-setting deliveries could mean that the company has worked out some of the issues it has had with suppliers in the past.

“I don’t expect us to be at full production at July 1,” Musk said during an earnings call last August. “But I have to drive all suppliers and all internal efforts to that date knowing that some will fall short, and those who fall short will be cut out of the picture. And if there are teams internally that fail to execute effectively, we’ll reorganize those teams.”

This will be the first time Tesla will also be reporting a full quarter of Solar City revenue since the merger — which could help the company meet revenue expectations. Last quarter, Musk said the company was on track to bring in $500 million in cash from its energy generation and storage business by 2019.

The company, which saw its market cap soar after announcing car deliveries — for the first time becoming more valuable than either General Motors or Ford, however briefly — also closed at an all-time high of $314.07 last Friday.

This could be the third quarter in a row that Tesla beats the Street’s expectations. The company posted its second profitable quarter in its history as a public company in the third quarter of 2016.

But analysts will likely also ask about a few new products Musk has announced, like the electric semi-truck he said will be unveiled shortly and the compact SUV or the cheaper version of the Model X. The company also took in $1.8 billion from major Chinese firm Tencent, buying the WeChat owner a 5 percent stake in Tesla.

Last quarter, Musk also announced that the company will be building up to five more Gigafactories — battery and vehicle manufacturing plants — so it’s likely we’ll hear more about that as well.

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