A Look At Tesla's (TSLA) Revenue Growth Over The Last Decade

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Shares of Tesla TSLA surged on Tuesday, amid an increasingly volatile period for the company. But while the bear case for the electric car giant gains more steam, it is worth noting just how far Tesla has come over the last 10 years.

Tesla's recent downturn has seen investors flee on the back of a slew of concerns, from Model 3 production issues to mounting debt issues. Furthermore, while the company's CEO Elon Musk continues to overpromise and under deliver, the likes of Ford F , General Motors GM , and Volkswagen VLKAY , have invested in their own electric vehicle futures (also read: 4 Key Reasons for Tesla's Recent Selloff ).

With that said, Tesla's growth story from startup to multibillion-dollar Wall Street darling is still impressive, and it might not be over yet.

Rising Revenues

Tesla pulled in a total of just $14.7 million in 2008. The electric car firm's sales jumped to $111.9 million the following year, which marked a 661% surge. This massive growth can be attributed, in part, to the introduction of the original Model S in March 2009.

Tesla then went public in the summer of 2010. At the time, Musk wasn't even the chief executive and Tesla had already lost a total of $260 million since its founding in 2003. Yet, in Tesla's first full-year as a public company, it reported sales of $204 million in 2011. This marked strong 75% growth from its IPO year when it made $116.7 million.

However, the fourth quarter of 2012 was when Tesla's current growth story really began. Tesla delivered roughly 2,400 Model S vehicles during the quarter and about 2,650 for the year. Tesla reported Q4 revenues that skyrocketed 500% to $306 million, which pushed full-year sales to $413.3 million.

One year later, Tesla was a multibillion-dollar a year electric automaker that sold a record 6,892 Model S vehicles in Q4, reporting total revenues of $2.01 billion in 2013.

Tesla's full-year revenues then climbed by roughly $1 billion a year over the next two years, with sales reaching $4.05 billion by 2015. The company's revenues then surged to $7 billion in 2016, marking roughly 72% growth.

Last year, Tesla sold a total of more than 100,000 Model S sedans and Model X SUVs, which marked a 33% increase from the year earlier. This jump in vehicle sales helped Tesla post total revenues of $11.76 billion in 2017.

Tesla, Inc. Price

Tesla, Inc. Price | Tesla, Inc. Quote

Looking Ahead

Tesla has clearly been on an incredible run over the last decade, jumping from revenues for $14.7 million in 2008 to $11.76 billion last year. This growth led to a major run of success, but its stock price is nearly flat over the last 52 weeks.

The fact that Tesla's shares have leveled off is most likely based on its inability to become profitable amid its run of outsized top line growth. With that said, Tesla is once again expected to see its sales grow in 2018 while posting an overall loss.

The eclectic car maker's first quarter 2018 revenues are projected to climb by 20% to hit $3.25 billion, based on our current Zacks Consensus Estimates. Tesla's full-year 2018 sales are expected to soar nearly 60% to hit $18.77 billion.

Meanwhile, Tesla is projected to post an adjusted loss of $3.15 per share in Q1 and a full-year adjusted loss of $7.05 per share.

Bottom Line

Tesla's growth story has been clouded by its rising debt and continued production concerns for its mass-market Model 3. Coupled with other valid worries, investors have real reasons to be skeptical of Tesla these days.

However, investors should be pleased to note that Tesla is expected to report adjusted full-year earnings of $1.63 per share in 2019. And if Tesla eventually starts to churn out vehicles at the rates it hopes, the company's growth story could just be getting started-especially considering that the electric vehicle age has barely begun.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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