Tesla’s 2016 annual report: what to expect today

Tesla hit several high notes last year — record vehicle deliveries and vaulting stock prices, widespread release of a new model, and even a third-quarter profit.

The Palo Alto tech company releases its 2016 financial results this afternoon. Tesla watchers expect more details about the company’s future plans and production schedule for another new vehicle, the Model 3.

Investors have driven the company’s stock up to $277 per share at yesterday’s market closing, an 11 percent rise in the past month.  The company has reached near a $44 billion market valuation, creeping near established auto companies like Ford, valued at around $50 billion.

Bloomberg reports the company’s rocketing stock price may be making some analysts uneasy. Tesla has never had a profitable year. It turned its second profitable quarter last year, thanks to increased demand for its vehicles and selling pollution credits.

Few believe the company will hit CEO Elon Musk’s target to produce at least 100,000 Model 3 cars this year.

Tesla booked nearly 400,000 reservations for the Model 3, an all-electric sedan expected to start at $35,000, in the weeks following its unveiling.

Main Street investors remain bullish. A survey of users by Robinhood, the digital platform for free stock trading, found users more optimistic on the stock now than before Tesla’s last financial announcement. Robinhood has about 1 million online customers, with an average age of 30.

The company financials could be complicated by a new addition to the Tesla family, SolarCity. The electric vehicle maker bought the solar installer, founded by Musk’s cousins, in November. Musk envisions the combined company offering a full selection of renewable energy products — from solar panels, roofs and home power storage to electric vehicles.

Musk also hinted the company would produce a range of electric trucks and vans in the future.

Photo: A Tesla Model S P90D on display at the Tesla store in the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, Calif., on Nov. 6, 2015. (LiPo Ching/Bay Area News Group)


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