DETROIT — Tesla reported Wednesday that its first-quarter net profit was more than seven times higher than a year ago, buoyed by strong sales despite global supply chain issues and pandemic-related production cuts in China. .
The electric vehicle and solar panel company earned $3.32 billion between January and March. Excluding special items like stock-based compensation, the Austin, Texas company earned $3.22 per share. That far exceeded Wall Street estimates of $2.26 a share, according to data provider FactSet.
Revenue for the quarter was $18.76 billion, also beating estimates of $17.85 billion. It was fueled by multiple price increases intended to offset rising costs for lithium, nickel, cobalt and other precious metals used to make batteries.
It may be more difficult for Tesla to release similar numbers later this year. It faces the costs arising from the creation of new factories in Germany and Texas, as well as the increase in the prices of raw materials. It’s also looking for more competition as startups and legacy automakers launch more electric models.
The company said its weekly production for the quarter was strong, but a spike in COVID-19 cases prompted the temporary closure of its Shanghai factory, as well as part of Tesla’s supply chain.
“Although limited production (at the Shanghai factory) recently restarted, we continue to monitor the situation closely,” the company said in a letter to investors.
Tesla appears to have dealt with the parts shortage better than the rest of the industry.
Read more: This is what Wall Street thinks about Elon Musk’s offer to buy Twitter
Shares of Tesla closed down almost 5% at $977.20 on Wednesday, but were up 4% in extended trading after the company released its figures. The stock is down 7.5% so far this year.
CEO Elon Musk is expected to attend the company’s earnings conference call later on Wednesday. He could also be asked about his $43 billion hostile bid to take over Twitter.
Despite China’s production and supply chain issues, Tesla reiterated its forecast of 50% average annual growth in vehicle deliveries over the next few years. “The rate of growth will depend on the capacity of our teams, operational efficiency and the capacity and stability of the supply chain,” the company said.
Although production has begun at factories in Texas and Germany, Tesla said ramping up at both sites will take time. The company said its factories have been running below capacity due to parts supply shortages.
Tesla also says it expects the “Full Self-Driving” beta test software to be released to all customers who purchased the feature before the end of the year. Tesla has said that the cars cannot drive themselves, despite the name, and drivers must pay attention and be ready to intervene at all times.
Tesla delivered a record 310,000 vehicles worldwide in the first quarter, approximately 68% more than the same period in 2021. Tesla delivered 185,000 vehicles in the first quarter of last year.
Last year, the company delivered a record 936,000 vehicles, an 87% increase over 2020 figures. The company said in February that it expects 50% annual growth in sales, meaning it expects deliver about 1.4 million vehicles this year.
More must-read stories from TIME