- Tesla shares climbed 7% in premarket trading Thursday.
- The electric carmaker posted its fourth-quarter earnings after Wednesday’s closing bell, beating Wall Street’s expectations.
- CEO Elon Musk is testifying in a trial over allegations of securities fraud.
Tesla rallied Thursday as investors looked past CEO Elon Musk’s ongoing trial to pile into the stock after it beat Wall Street’s revenue and profit expectations for the fourth quarter.
Shares climbed 6.9% to $154.39 in premarket trading after the electric carmaker posted earnings per share of $1.19 for the three months up until December 31, 2022. That comfortably beat analysts’ forecast of $1.05, according to data from Refinitiv.
Tesla’s revenue also grew 37% year on year to $24.3 billion for the fourth quarter, which narrowly beat analysts’ $24.1 billion target and could show shareholders that recent aggressive price cuts have helped to revive faltering demand. Musk said on an earnings call after Wednesday’s closing bell that Tesla’s “price changes really [made] a difference” in the fourth quarter of 2022.
“Tesla’s troubles in recent times have really put the brakes on what had been a rapidly accelerating share price but its latest earnings report has helped charge things up again,” AJ Bell’s investment director Russ Mould said Thursday.
“Posting its best ever quarterly revenue and profit and beating expectations was always likely to be rewarded by shareholders, and so it proved with the shares making material gains in after-hours trading,” he added.
Tesla’s gains come after Musk testified in a high-profile San Francisco trial sparked by a class-action shareholder lawsuit alleging he committed securities fraud in 2018.
Investors suing the world’s second-richest man say he illegally manipulated Tesla’s stock price by tweeting that he had “funding secured” to take the company private at $420 a share. The deal never happened.
So far in his testimony Musk has accused the governor of Saudi Arabia’s $620 billion wealth fund of “ass-covering” — and said that he’d have cashed in on SpaceX stock to take Tesla private.
Read more: Elon Musk on Saudi ‘ass-covering’ and 10 other things the Tesla boss said to defend himself in the ‘funding secured’ trial