The Financials of the Falcon Heavy

Tesla’s Model 3 may tick all the electric boxes but production problems have slowed its progress

Wall Street and automotive analysts are closely following the problem-plagued production ramp of the Model 3, the electric sedan that represents Tesla's ambition to transform itself into a mass-market automaker and start turning a profit. Sure enough, it was.

The description of this new celestial object also says it "includes a Hot Wheels toy model Roadster on the car's dash with a mini-Starman inside".

With few surprises in the fourth-quarter report and an outlook by Tesla of business-as-usual, analysts maintained price targets and ratings on Tesla.

As the competition is still nowhere near to selling a Model 3 alternative, Tesla still has time.

"At some point in 2018, we expect to begin generating positive quarterly operating income on a sustained basis", the company said. More important, every quarter that the Model 3 falls behind schedule is another when Tesla's lead is eroded.

Once Model 3 production stabilizes at a weekly rate of 5,000 units, Tesla believes the new vehicle will sport a meaty gross margin of 25%, playing a key role in achieving - and sustaining - positive operating income.

Tesla did not have a very good end of 2017. But it fell woefully short on the Model 3, which went into production in July.

But Tesla said, "Model 3 net reservations remained stable in Q4".

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Tesla's total revenue for 2017 was $11.8 billion, which was also in line with analysts' forecasts.

Last summer, Tesla said its deposit-backed net Model 3 reservations were at about 455,000. The significance, however, lies in the boy from South Africa who came to the USA via Canada realising his wildest dreams in building an aerospace exploration firm that can deliver launches with the heaviest rocket in history at about one-tenth what it costs Nasa, perhaps more economical than Isro's user-friendly satellite launch costs.

For now, this isn't happening.

If it declines another 3% it will be considered to be in a bear market.

"2018 will be a transformative year for Tesla", Musk wrote in a letter to shareholders. Telsa still needs to automate the battery production.

Net loss widened to $675.4 million, or $4.01 per share, for the fourth quarter ended December 31 from $121.3 million, or 78 cents per share, a year earlier.

Browning, who is the computer science and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) instructor for Barren County Schools, said his students thoroughly enjoyed "the wonder involved in seeing a launch, and seeing something going beyond what even our eyes can see". That's right - they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.

Tesla shares swung between gains and losses in early NY trading as bulls and bears continue to battle for the narrative.

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