Electric car maker Tesla (TSLA) did not sell any of its bitcoin holdings nor purchase any additional bitcoin in the third quarter, the company reported Wednesday in its latest earnings report.
The value of its digital assets remained at $218 million, the same as they were at the end of the second quarter, when Tesla surprised some investors by selling $936 million worth of bitcoin, or approximately 75% of its total holdings, in order to raise cash.
Tesla reported no impairment charges to the value of its bitcoin holdings, as the price of the cryptocurrency remained almost the same at the end of both the second and third quarters at slightly under $20,000.
CEO Elon Musk said on the company's second-quarter earnings call that the sale was made because of “the uncertainty of the COVID lockdowns in China,” but noted that Tesla is open to boosting its bitcoin exposure in the future and that the sale “should not be taken as some verdict on bitcoin." The price of bitcoin fell about 1.7% on the initial news at the time, but soon regained its losses after Musk’s remarks on the call.
Tesla ended the second quarter with just $218 million in bitcoin (BTC), down from $1.26 billion in the previous three quarters. The company said it realized a gain of $64 million on the sale of its holdings in the second quarter, which was offset by impairment charges of $170 million on the remainder of its bitcoin, resulting in a net cost of $106 million on its profit and loss statement.
In February 2021, Tesla announced it had purchased $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin, a move that caused the price of bitcoin to surge. Later in that first quarter the company trimmed its bitcoin position by 10%, a sale that boosted that quarter’s earnings by $272 million. It had not bought or sold any more bitcoin until this year’s second quarter.
Overall for the third quarter, Tesla reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.05, beating the consensus of analyst estimates reported to FactSet of $1.00 a share, on revenue of $21.45 billion, shy of a $21.98 billion estimate. Shares of Tesla were falling just over 4% to $212.83 in after-hours trading Wednesday.
A company call with analysts is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. ET (21:30 UTC).
UPDATE (Oct. 19, 20:31 UTC): Added information on impairment charges and Tesla's overall results and share price.