Tesla said Wednesday that profit in the fourth quarter of 2022 rose 12 percent from the previous quarter, above Wall Street expectations, capping a tumultuous year that included intensifying competition, supply chain disruptions and concerns about the behavior of its chief executive, Elon Musk.
Net profit for the quarter was $3.7 billion, up from $3.3 billion in the third quarter, Tesla said. For the full year, Tesla’s profit more than doubled to $12.6 billion from $5.5 billion in 2021. Sales for the year, including revenue from solar panels and other businesses, rose to $81.5 billion from $53.8 billion the previous year.
Tesla said it expected to produce 1.8 million cars in 2023, up from 1.4 million in 2022. That would be a more modest rate of growth than in 2022, when production increased by nearly 50 percent.
It was an eventful year for Tesla dominated by Mr. Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, which led to complaints by Tesla investors that he was neglecting his duties at the carmaker at a critical time.
Mr. Musk “has essentially gone from a superhero with a red cape to a villain in the eyes of many investors after the ongoing Twitter fiasco has cast a dark shadow over Tesla’s stock,”
Daniel Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, said in a note to investors ahead of the earnings report.
Tesla shares fell 65 percent during 2022 as investors doubted whether the company was reacting energetically enough to a long list of challenges and risks.
Among other things, investors worried that Mr. Musk would sell more of his stake in Tesla to finance his Twitter acquisition, flooding the market. They worried about Tesla’s prospects in China, the world’s largest car market, because of problems maintaining the supply of critical parts and growing competition from rivals like the Chinese manufacturer BYD. During 2022, BYD surpassed Tesla in total electric cars sold in China.
At the same time, slowing economic growth and rising interest rates in the United States…
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