Open access peer-reviewed chapter

Financial Reporting and Analysis of Tesla Green Technology in the United States Market

Written By

Nizar Mohammad Alsharari

Submitted: 02 March 2022 Reviewed: 26 April 2022 Published: 28 June 2022

DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.105065

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Banking and Accounting Issues

Edited by Nizar Mohammad Alsharari

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This study aims to discuss and analyze the financial position and performance of the US Tesla green technology company in the United States. This study uses a case study approach, financial data, and website methodologies to collect and analyze the research data. The case study is Tesla, Inc., which is a US electric vehicle and clean energy company based in Austin, Texas. Tesla is a green technology company that produces and designs electric cars, battery energy storage from home to grid-scale, solar roof tiles and solar panels, and related products and services. Tesla is growing fastly by introducing new green products, and it is now one of the world’s most valuable enterprises. It has a high market capitalization of almost US$1 trillion to become the world’s most valuable automaker. This study concludes that Tesla has changed their strategy to become the most worldwide sales of purely battery electric vehicles, capturing 23% of the market and 16% of the plug-in electric battery in the market for 2020. It has also developed a significant installer of photovoltaic systems through its subsidiary Tesla Energy in the United States. One of the largest global battery energy-storage systems suppliers is Tesla Energy, with 3.99 gigawatt-hours installed in 2021.


  • financial reporting
  • financial analysis
  • tesla
  • manufacturing company
  • United States

1. Introduction

Global business has become more competitive than before. The technology and dynamic life increase the opportunities and risks for several firms. Accordingly, financial statements and financial analysis must be developed to assess the company’s performance relative to its past performance or relative to its industrial competitors [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. The financial statements are annual reports containing essential information about the firm, including income, cash flows, and current financial condition, illustrating the assets, liabilities, and owners’ equity. However, if the financial information is not analyzed well, it will not help the company’s success and management decision-making. In addition, a firm should be prepared for the uncertainties and opportunities in the future; therefore, the financial analysis can support oversight of the future business [3, 7, 8].

The financial analysis uses financial statements to evaluate the firm’s overall performance, assess the equity securities, value opportunities, and risk, grow company earnings, and increase the cash flow. This study discusses financial statements, the difference and similarities between US GAAP and IFRS, financial data collection, research methodology, and analysis. In addition, a case study of one of the recent international companies, which is Tesla Motors, will be explained, and financial analysis and results will be applied to it [9, 10].

The used financial analysis method is financial ratios analysis. In this research, the profitability ratio, liquidity ratio, leverage ratio, and activity ratio will be applied to the financial statement of Tesla Motors. This study aims to evaluate the financial position of Tesla Motors through ratios and formulas to analyze the efficiency and business risk of the enterprise.


2. Literature review

2.1 Financial statements overview

A financial statement consists three main statements that provide essential details and information about the company’s performance—income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. The statements are analyzed annually using financial analysis techniques to continuously compare the firm effectiveness with previous years and compare it with the competitors from the same industry [11, 12, 13].

2.1.1 Income statement

The income statement is defined as the profit and loss statements representing the cost of sales, total operating expenses, net profit to the net sales over a certain period, and earnings per share. The cost of sales contains the cost of merchandise, production, materials purchase expenses, research and development costs, and total operating expenses, including administrative and distribution expenses. To increase the net profit of the firm, expenses must be decreased, and sales have to be increased. The return of investment, financial flexibility, operating capabilities, and risk are essential information gathered from the income statement. The firm’s overall performance is measured by the return of investment, where the enterprise’s ability to adapt to consequences and opportunities is defined as financial flexibility. Moreover, the ability to maintain operations at the desired level is considered the operating capability, and risk is defined as the uncertainty related to the firm’s future. In summary, an Income statement supports the stakeholders and managers in evaluating the past performance, predicting future performance, and reducing the risk and uncertainty in achieving future cash flows [14].

2.1.2 Balance sheet

The balance sheet statement is referred to as the statement of financial position. The primary role of the balance sheet is to report the firm’s assets, “economic resources,” liabilities, “economic obligations,” and equity over a particular period where total assets should be equal to total liabilities and equity “residual claims of owners.” The assets are shown concerning its cash liquidity, and the liabilities are related to its maturity date. The balance sheet can be measured by several values based on the relevance and reliability of desired attributes—a one-time cost, present cost, present market value, net realizable value, and the current value of future cash flows. At a specific balance sheet date, the current or present cost is the cash required to attain the asset, whereas the current market value is the amount of cash gained from selling the asset. In addition, the net realizable value is represented as the cash obtained from the sale of a future asset. The benefit of the balance sheet is to gather information and data about obligations, resources, and net resources equity. As well as it supports predicting the time, cost amounts, potential, and uncertainty of future cash flows [14].

2.1.3 Statement of cash flow

The cash flow statement is a classification of cash payments and cash receipts issued by financing, operating, and investing activities. Each firm prepares the cash flow statement annually and compares the current year with previous years to evaluate the overall performance and plan the organization’s expenditures. The information and details provided by the cash flow statement report to stakeholders, lenders, and investors are cash that comes from or is used in operating and financing activities and the change of cash, whether increasing or decreasing in a particular period. In addition, the statement of cash flow support making economic decisions about the firm. The financing activities related to a firm are treasury stock, which describes the reacquisition of earlier issued shares, stock issuance, dividends payment to stakeholders, debt financing, and debt repayment. Investing activities contain fixed assets, debt sale or purchase, and equity securities of entities. Additionally, the operating activities are related to manufacturing companies and the sale of goods [14].

The above three statements can be prepared in accordance with two types of the conceptual framework, which are The International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), which is used the worldwide, and the United States Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (US GAAP), which was used in the US but recently it has been used by some firms in the UK and India. Both representations have similarities and differences in finance and account aspects. Some differences and similarities in financial aspects are illustrated in the table below (Similarities and Differences A comparison of IFRS, US GAAP, and UK GAAP*, 2005) (see Table 1).

Financial StatementIFRSUS GAAP
Income statement
  1. No standard format.

  2. Present in one of two formats, either function or nature.

  3. Prohibits extraordinary items category.

  1. Use single-step or multistep format.

  2. Allow extraordinary items category.

Balance sheet
  1. No particular format.

  2. Liquidity presentation of assets & liabilities.

  3. Present current and non-current assets and current and non-current liabilities.

  1. Current assets, liabilities, and equity and decreasing the order of liquidity.

  2. Public companies should follow SEC guidelines.

Cash flow statements
  1. Use direct or indirect methods.

  2. Limit flexibility of content.

  3. Overdrafts cash and cash equivalent with short-term maturity.

  4. No exemptions.

  1. Use direct or indirect methods.

  2. More guidance for each specific category.

  3. Cash includes equivalent but excludes overdrafts.

  4. Limited exemptions for specific investment firms.

Table 1.

IFRS and US GAAP conceptual frameworks: Similarities and differences in financial statements preparation.

Sources: The Author.

2.2 Financial analysis techniques

To evaluate firm performance, it is complimentary to analyze the presented data and compare it with historical data or/and other competitors from the same industry. Thus, the basis and elements of comparison must be clarified to ensure an entity’s excellent performance and effectiveness. Analytical techniques can assess the firm’s capabilities to generate and grow the cash flow and earnings. Additionally, it supports identifying the cash flow and earnings risks for current and future times.

For example, one of the main aspects of comparison is the firm profitability compared with other companies. In most cases, there will be differences between the companies in the firm size, presenting financial information or/and the currency of financial data. Therefore, comparing the firms based on the net income will provide the right and valuable results. An alternative methodology was created, a ratio analysis technique that expresses one value concerning another value that enables more sufficient and accurate comparison and results. Furthermore, performing the standard size of financial statements eliminate the size factor, which provides improper results.

Regarding the issue of currency differences that appear from comparing international companies, an alternative method rather than using ratio analysis is using global exchange rates and unifying the currency in financial status at the end of a particular period. In addition to that, the enterprise compares its performance over time. Using the ratio analysis, which is horizontal financial statements that compare the current year to a based year and implement the results as a graph, shows the significant changes in the firm’s effectiveness and performance [14].

The primary objectives of using ratio analysis are as follows:

  1. Assess the past performance, evaluate the current financial position, and predict future opportunities and risks.

  2. Support analysis to determine earnings and free cash flow.

  3. Examine the firm’s financial flexibility and ability to provide the cash needed to grow the firm and meet the obligations in normal or unexpected circumstances.

  4. Improve management’s ability to make better decisions related to enterprise growth (Henry, Robinson, and Van Greuning, n.d.).

Types of ratio Analysis:

  1. Profitability ratio. It concentrates on the enterprise’s effectiveness in using resources and operating processes to earn and increase income.

  2. Liquidity ratio. It evaluates the organization’s ability to meet financial obligations in the short term.

  3. Leverage ratio. The leverage ratio provides the data on long-term solvency in an enterprise.

  4. Activity ratio. It implements to assess the firm of using its assets.

  5. Market test ratio. It provides measurements of market strength.

  6. Cash flow ratio. It measures the cash adequacy and cash flow return (Analysis and Use of Financial Statements, 2004).


3. Case study: financial analysis of tesla motors

3.1 Automobile industry overview

The automobile industry is the producer of electric, hybrid, and gasoline-powered vehicles and one of the largest industries that affect the economy and culture of the world. Moreover, it opened a broader market area for many businesses and commerce by using vehicles in transporting people and goods. Based on the worldwide statistics, the leading countries for the production of passenger cars in 2018 are represented in the figure below. The total global sales of passenger cars reached 62 million vehicles in 2018, and the United States produced around 2.8 million vehicles. Accordingly, the US is considered one of the largest automobile markets in production and sales.

The most produced and selling brands of vehicles in the US automobile industry are Ford, Volkswagen, Toyota, Hyundai, and Chevrolet. All mentioned models are fuel-based vehicles where a new generation of alternative energy resources was developed in the US to produce and sell hybrid and electric vehicles. One of the leading global producers of electric cars is Tesla Motors. This research discusses an overview of Tesla Motors, methodology, and analysis of Tesla’s financial statements (see Figure 1) [16].

Figure 1.

Leading countries for the production of cars in 2018 [15].

3.2 Company background: tesla motors

Tesla Motors is an international manufacturing automotive and energy company founded in 2003 and based in California, US. The company is founded by Martin Eberhard, Marc Tarpenning, Elon Musk, J. B. Straubel, and Ian Wright. The organization aims to establish a sustainable energy eco-system by creating affordable vehicles and building unique energy solutions like solar roofs, power walls, and power packs. Tesla’s automotive and energy solution enables the consumers to manage the generation, consumption, and storage of renewable energy. Tesla Motors achieved a financial turnover of around 21.5 billion US dollars in the fiscal year of 2018 and 45,000 employees in 30 worldwide branches.

Due to the massive competition in the automotive industry, the global economy affecting the business, and the competitive prices, Tesla Motors added a unique value to its customers by alternating fuel-based vehicles with electric vehicles. Although Tesla avoids the risk of increasing the oil prices, technological and political environments significantly impact Tesla vehicle prices. Therefore, the financial and non-financial performance of Tesla should be analyzed carefully to support in making critical decisions and to determine the future risk and potential of the company [17].


4. Research methodology

The historical financial information and data of Tesla Motors provide a better understanding of its financial position and cash flow forecast. Moreover, by comparing the annual financial reports, the created value of Tesla and performance relative to peers can be examined. The financial information contains annual reports of Tesla’s income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow. Those financial details are authenticated and published by Tesla Motors company. In this research, the financial data duration will be analyzed, including the years from 2015 to 2018. A copy of detailed Tesla financial statements is attached in appendix A. Furthermore, the model used to evaluate Tesla’s financial performance is described in (Figure 2).

Figure 2.

The research methodology.

The financial technique used in this research is the ratios analysis technique, which provides financial measurements and results to indicate the performance of Tesla Motors. The main four ratios for financial data analysis are liquidity ratios, assets management ratios, profitability ratios, and debt management ratios (Appendix B). Each ratio contains various formulas that describe an essential principle of finance and account, represented in the table below (see Table 2).

Liquidity RatiosAsset Management RatiosProfitability RatiosDebt Management Ratios
1. Current Ratio1. Accounts Receivable Turnover1. Net Profit Margin1. Debt Ratio
2. Quick Ratio2. Inventory Turnover Ratio2. Gross Profit Margin Ratio2. Time Interest Earned
3. Cash Ratio3. Accounts Payable Turnover3. Operating Profit Margin

Table 2.

Financial ratios analysis.


5. Financial analysis and results

5.1 Liquidity ratios

The liquidity ratio indicates the strong ability to use its asset to cover its short-term debts. The three liquidity ratios used in this research are current ratio, quick ratio, acid test, and cash ratio.

5.1.1 Current ratio

The current ratio formula is performed by dividing the current assets by the current liabilities for the same year. The current asset consists of cash and cash equivalents, restricted cash, net accounts receivable, inventory, prepaid expenses, and other current assets, where current liability includes Accounts payable, accrued liabilities, deferred revenue, resale value guarantee, customer deposits, current portion of long-term debt and capital leases (see Table 3 and Figure 3).

Current Assets$ 8,306,308$ 6,570,520$ 6,259,796$ 2,782,006
Current Liability$ 9,992,136$ 7,674,670$ 5,827,005$ 2,811,035
Current Ratio0.83130.85611.07430.9897

Table 3.

Current ratio analysis.

Figure 3.

Current ratio graph.

Analysis: As observed from the above table and graph, the current ratio exceeded only in 2016, when the firm used its assets correctly and paid the creditor back. On the other hand, for 2017 and 2018, the current ratio decreased, indicating that the firm could not meet its short-term obligations. The liquidity position of General Motors has been reducing negatively for the past two years. Accordingly, the firm can increase its current liabilities compared to its current assets by increasing inventory sales, resulting in increasing the cash. Moreover, the average current ratio of the automobile industry is 1.01 for 2018, which means that General Motors is less than the average current ratio of 17.69%.

5.1.2 Acid test ratio

The acid test or quick ratio is calculated by eliminating the inventories from current assets and dividing them by current liabilities (see Table 4 and Figure 4).

(Current Assets-Inventories)$ 5,192,862$ 4,306,983$ 4,192,342$ 1,594,168
Current Liability$ 9,992,136$ 7,674,670$ 5,827,005$ 2,811,035
Acid Test Ratio0.51970.56120.71950.5671

Table 4.

Acid test ratio.

Figure 4.

Acid test ratio graph.

Analysis: it is obtained that General Motors has poor liquidity since its liquid assets are low and cannot pay off and cover its entire current liability.

5.1.3 Cash ratio

A cash ratio is a type of measurement, which evaluates the strong ability to cover its current liability by only its cash and cash equivalent (see Table 5 and Figure 5).

Cash and Cash Equivalent$ 3,685,618$ 3,367,914$ 3,393,216$ 1,196,908
Current Liability$ 9,992,136$ 7,674,670$ 5,827,005$ 2,811,035
Cash Ratio0.36890.43880.58230.4258

Table 5.

Cash ratio.

Figure 5.

Cash ratio graph.

Analysis: Although the cash and cash equivalent increased from the year 2015 to 2018 except between 2016 and 2017, there was a slight reduction, but the company failed to cover its liabilities. Thus, it should increase its investments to increase its cash and cover the current liabilities.

5.2 Asset management ratios

The most important financial ratios for the manufacturing company are asset management because it effectively measures the enterprise usage and control of its assets. It consists many ratios, but in this research, the accounts receivable turnover, inventory turnover, accounts Payable turnover, and total asset turnover will be implemented on General Motors’ financial statements.

5.2.1 Accounts receivable turnover ratio

The accounts receivable turnover measures the number of cash collection times during a particular period, and it is calculated by dividing the sales by the average account receivable (see Table 6 and Figure 6).

Sales$ 21,461,268$ 11,758,751$ 7,000,132$ 4,046,025
Average Accounts Receivable$ 949,022$ 515,381$ 499,142$ 168,965
Accounts Receivable Turnover Ratio22.6122.8214.0223.95

Table 6.

Accounts receivable turnover ratio.

Figure 6.

Accounts receivable turnover ratio graph.

Analysis: Based on collected data, the accounts receivable turnover ratio decreased at the end of 2016 and increased in 2017 and 2018. The graph indicates that Tesla Motors is doing well in collecting its cash annually.

5.2.2 Inventory turnover ratio

This ratio is calculated several times inventories are sold and restocked yearly. All manufacturers have Inventories to keep unsold stocks which cost them significant value until the materials are sold out. It is measured by dividing the cost of goods sold over the average inventories (see Table 7 and Figure 7).

Cost of Goods Sold$ 17,419,247$ 9,536,264$ 5,400,875$ 3,122,522
Average Inventories$ 2,688,491$ 2,165,495$ 1,672,646$ 1,115,756
Inventory Turnover Ratio6.484.403.232.80

Table 7.

Inventory turnover ratio.

Figure 7.

Inventory turnover ratio graph.

Analysis: The inventory turnover ratio indicates that Tesla Motors has improved over four years, wherein in 2018, the firm renewed its total inventory about 6.48 times a year.

5.2.3 Accounts payable turnover ratio

Since raw materials are considered the main expenses of manufacturing firms, the accounts payable turnover measures the speed of paying the purchasing of raw materials or inventories on the account. The account payable turnover is calculated by dividing the purchases over average accounts payable. The below formula calculates the value of the purchase (see Table 8 and Figure 8).

Purchases$ 18,269,156$ 9,732,347$ 6,190,491$ 3,446,685
Average Accounts Payable$ 3,404,451$ 2,390,250$ 1,860,341$ 916,148
Accounts Payable Turnover Ratio5.3664.0723.3283.762

Table 8.

Accounts payable turnover ratio.

Figure 8.

Accounts payable turnover ratio graph.

Purchases = Cost of goods sold + [(Ending inventory) – (Beginning inventory)].

Analysis: It has been observed that Tesla Motors can pay its purchases on time 5.366 times in 2018, which is improved compared to previous years.

5.3 Profitability ratios

The company’s overall efficiency and performance are evaluated by the profitability ratio, where it concentrates on measuring the assets and controlling the expenses to generate a reasonable rate of return. In addition, it analyses the firm current operational performance compared to previous years. The net profit margin, gross profit margin ratio, and operating profit margin ratio will be performed on the financial statements of Tesla Motors.

5.3.1 Net profit margin

The net profit margin is calculated by dividing the net profit after tax over the net sales. For any automotive company, the higher the net profit margin, the better the performance (see Table 9 and Figure 9).

Net Profit after Tax$ 1,062,582$ 2,240,578$ 773,046$ 888,663
Sales$ 21,461,268$ 11,758,751$ 7,000,132$ 4,046,025
Net Profit Margin (Percentage)4.951%19.055%11.043%21.964%

Table 9.

Net profit margin.

Figure 9.

Net profit margin graph.

Analysis: As observed from previous data, the net profit margin significantly decreased in 2018 compared to previous years, where the most profitable year is 2015 and the second most profitable year is 2017.

5.3.2 Gross profit margin ratio

A gross profit margin serves as the source of paying additional expenses and savings for the future to assess financial health. The gross profit margin ratio is calculated by dividing the gross profit over sales (see Table 10 and Figure 10).

Gross Profit Margin$ 1,004,745$ 2,209,032$ 746,348$ 875,624
Sales$ 21,461,268$ 11,758,751$ 7,000,132$ 4,046,025
Gross Profit Margin Ratio (Percentage)4.682%18.786%10.662%21.642%

Table 10.

Gross profit margin ratio.

Figure 10.

Gross profit margin ratio graph.

Analysis: From 2015 to 2018, the gross profit margins are positive, which indicates that the firm is profitable.

5.3.3 Operating profit margin ratio

This ratio is calculated by dividing the operating profits over sales (see Table 11 and Figure 11).

Operating Profits$ 388,073$ 1,632,086$ 667,340$ 716,629
Sales$ 21,461,268$ 11,758,751$ 7,000,132$ 4,046,025
Operating Profit Margin Ratio0.0180.1390.0950.177

Table 11.

Operating profit margin ratio.

Figure 11.

Operating profit margin ratio figure.

Analysis: The operating margin of Tesla Motors is dramatically decreased in 2018 compared to previous years, which indicates that the firm is earning less per dollar of sales. The low operating profit margin is due to high fixed production costs or high sales volume.

5.4 Debt management ratios

The degree of safety afforded to creditors is financial leverage or debt financing. There are two methods to obtain the enterprise debt by determining the borrowed funds used to finance assets on the balance sheet. The other is by obtaining the fixed charges covered by the operating profits in the income statement.

5.4.1 Debt ratio

The debt ratio is calculated by dividing total debt over total assets, where total debt contains current liabilities and long-term debt (see Table 12 and Figure 12).

Total Debt$ 13,433,874$ 15,348,310$ 10,923,162$ 4,125,915
Total Assets$ 29,739,614$ 28,655,372$ 22,664,076$ 8,067,939
Debt Ratio0.4520.5360.4820.511

Table 12.

Debt ratio.

Figure 12.

Debt ratio graph.

Analysis: The debt ratio is less than one, which indicates that a higher amount of the firm’s assets is financed by its equity, not by its liability.

5.4.2 Time interest earned ratio

The time interest earned is measured by dividing the earnings “EBIT” before interest tax by the interest charged. The ratio indicates the enterprise’s ability to meet the interest payment (see Table 13 and Figure 13).

EBIT$ 4,340,986$ 2,208,596$ 1,600,685$ 917,671
Interest Charges$ 663,071$ 471,259$ 198,810$ 118,851
Time Interest Earned Ratio6.5474.6878.0517.721

Table 13.

Time interest earned ratio.

Figure 13.

Time interest earned graph.

Analysis: As observed, the company can pay for the interest. The higher the ratio is, the better since it indicates that the firm covers the interest from its earnings.


6. The conclusions

An overview of financial statements, financial presentation methods, and financial analysis was discussed. A real-life case study on Tesla Motors was implemented to perform the financial analysis and concluded the results of its financial statements and analyses to evaluate its performance.

This study concludes that Tesla Motors continuously suffers from losses. Tesla Motors has a high value of assets since they concentrate on adding value to the customers and inventing unique electric vehicles. In addition, the automobile industry is too competitive where vehicle manufacturers compete to drive the attention of various stakeholders in the market. Furthermore, the new idea of shifting from fuel-based vehicles to electric-based vehicles needs significant duration to convince stakeholders to purchase the developed electric cars. However, this research proves that Tesla Motors made low gross profits where it decreased from 21.642% in 2015 to 4.682% in 2018. The decrement is due to high maintenance costs, research and development cost, selling expenses, and administrative expenses. Furthermore, the interest percentage is too high where Tesla Motors is accumulating the losses, which leads to increasing the interest expenses of the current year. The financial ratios support Tesla Motors to highlight the current firm position and provide the potential threats and opportunities in the future.

This study concludes that Tesla has changed their strategy to become the most worldwide sales of purely battery electric vehicles, capturing 23% of the market and 16% of the plug-in electric battery in the market for 2020. It has also developed a significant installer of photovoltaic systems through its subsidiary Tesla Energy in the United States. One of the largest global battery energy-storage systems suppliers is Tesla Energy, with 3.99 gigawatt-hours (GWh) installed in 2021.

This study also concludes that Tesla has changed its production strategy over time. It started to produce its first car model, the Roadster sports car, in 2009, which was followed by the Model S sedan in 2012, the Model X SUV in 2015, the Model 3 sedan in 2017, and the Model Y crossover in 2020. However, the Model 3 is the best-selling plug-in electric car in the global market, and, in the mid of 2021, it became the first electric car sale with 1 million units globally. The sale strategy thus has been developed. The global sales of Tesla increased to 936,222 cars in 2021, with an 87% increase over the previous year, and cumulative sales for all years totaled 2.3 million cars at the end of 2021. By the end of 2021, The market capitalization of Tesla reached $1 trillion to hold the rank 6 in US market history.


  • The year 2017–2018

  • The year 2017–2016

  • The year 2016–2015


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Written By

Nizar Mohammad Alsharari

Submitted: 02 March 2022 Reviewed: 26 April 2022 Published: 28 June 2022