By Claudia Assis, MarketWatch
Tesla Inc. is scheduled to report fourth-quarter results after the bell Wednesday.
Wall Street will be eager to hear details on the Model 3, the all-electric mass-market car that Chief Executive Elon Musk hopes to start producing in July and selling later this year.
“That’s where all eyes are now,” said Ben Kallo, an analyst with Baird.
The Silicon Valley electric-car maker has promised to ramp up production to a rate of half a million vehicles in 2018, an ambitious goal that largely hinges on success of the Model 3.
Hopes for the Model 3 and any updates on the car’s production schedule are partly the reason Tesla /quotes/zigman/118681/composite TSLA -0.22% stock has been on a tear in recent days.
Shares closed at a 1 1/2-year high of $280.98 last Tuesday, and on that same session the stock traded as high as $287.39, its highest intraday since Sept. 3, 2014. Shares have traded higher two days in a row, although they followed the broader market early Wednesday to trade slightly lower.
Analysts expect Tesla to report a quarterly loss after disappointing vehicle deliveries, but the company sprung a surprise in the most recent report with a third-quarter profit and a sales beat .
Here’s what to expect:
Earnings: Analysts polled by FactSet expect Tesla to report an adjusted fourth-quarter loss of 53 cents a share, narrower than the loss of 87 cents a share it reported in the fourth quarter of 2015.
Will Musk/Trump Bromance Boost Tesla?
CEO Elon Musk and President Trump seem to be hitting it off; some say Tesla Motors could become a defense contractor.
Recent quarterly results have been a mixed bag for Tesla: Beyond the third-quarter profit, the company posted an unexpected loss in the fourth quarter of 2015 , and alternated between beating and missing market expectations in previous quarters.
Estimize, which crowdsources estimates from Wall Street analysts, buy-side analysts, hedge-fund managers, company executives, academics and others, has a more optimistic consensus estimate for Tesla, seeing a loss of 6 cents a share, based on 458 estimates.
Revenue: The FactSet sales consensus is $2.16 billion, which would compare with sales of $1.75 billion a year ago. Estimize contributors on average project sales of $2.24 billion for Tesla.
Read also: Here is why Tesla is Baird’s top stock market pick for 2017
Stock price: Here’s where Tesla shines. The stock has left the S&P 500 index /quotes/zigman/3870025/realtime SPX -0.26% in the dust in the past 12 months, rising more than 55% to the benchmark’s 21% increase. So far this year, shares are up 29%, compared with the S&P’s 5.5% gain.