Tesla posts first annual profit — still loses $862M

Despite its popularity and strong sales figures, Tesla seems to have turned a corner recently after posting its first annual profit, kind of.

According to CNN, in operating terms, Tesla posted a $386 million profit across the last three months of 2019. This meant it finished the year $35.8 million in the black.

That said, when considering the full company accounts, Tesla actually posted a loss for the whole year. In fact, it lost $862 million, The Verge writes. A notable improvement over the $1 billion loss it posted in 2018, though.

[Read: Tesla becomes America’s first $100B publicly listed car maker]

In other words, after the costs of making and delivering Teslas are subtracted from the profit made by selling the vehicles, the company is making a profit. But when all things are considered, like cash flow, and spending on new factories and expansion, Tesla made a loss.

Tesla flips cars at a profit, but is spending loads more elsewhere

Tesla’s spending on improving its fixed assets like buildings, land, and manufacturing equipment, for Q4 was $412 million. This is 7 percent higher than it was in Q3, and 27 percent higher than it was a year earlier.

This isn’t surprising, though. Tesla is forging ahead with two new “gigafactories.” One in China, which is nearing completion, and one just outside Berlin that’s due to be built this year.

While Tesla is still yet to turn a true profit, the fact that its daily operations are becoming consistently profitable shows the company is heading in the right direction.