Yes, Tesla Did Indeed Profit $26.3 in Q2…Here’s Why It Wasn’t A $30.5 Million Net Loss
The question of whether Tesla Motors posted a profit or a loss in Q2 of 2013 has been answered differently depending on the source.
Some say profit. Others claim loss.
While we won’t dive deeply into the specifics (for that, refer to this post and the associated Q2 link), we’re on the side of the fence that says profit and here’s why: Tesla Motors dished out $19.3 million in stock-based compensation to several of its employees, most notably $4.3 million went to Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
In a way, Tesla paid it forward, meaning that most of the stock-based compensation was based on future developmental work on the Model X and Gen III. For example, Tesla’s board of directors determined that Musk deserved $4.3 million for work he will do on the Model X at a later date.
This doesn’t make up the entire discrepancy between the adjusted $26. million profit and the $30.5 million net loss, but you can see from this that these one-time payouts make a substantial difference. Tesla had other one-timers, too.
Are Tesla’s action here legal? Sure, says Kevin Tynan, a Bloomberg Industries auto analyst. As Tynan states:
“[Tesla] is acting a lot more like a technology company than an automaker at this point.”
This statement is in reference to Tesla paying forward for work that has not yet been done. To which Tynan says:
“I wouldn’t think that is all that uncommon, especially if you’re on target.”
So, are we to assume the Model X is on target? Tynan thinks so and we have no reason to doubt.