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Tesla announced its financial situation as of the close of the first quarter of 2018 in a written statement released ahead of an earnings call held on Wednesday, May 2.

The firm reported a record loss of $709.6 million (£522m), or $4.19 (£3) per share, for the first quarter ended March 31, compared with a loss of $330.3 million (£243m), or $2.04 (£1.50) per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, Tesla had a loss of $3.35 (£2.45) per share. Analysts had expected a loss of $3.58 (£2.63) per share.

The company said it ended the quarter with $3.2 billion (£2.3bn) in cash after spending $655.7 million (£483m) in quarterly capital expenses. 

Tesla’s capital expenditures declined in the first quarter of this year and the company cut its spending forecasts for 2018, saying it would spend less than $3 billion (£2.21bn). Tesla spent $3.4 billion in 2017.

Free cash flow, a key metric of financial health, widened to negative $1 billion (negative £740m) in the first quarter from negative $277 million (negative £204m) in the fourth quarter of 2017, excluding costs of systems for its solar business.

Despite the news, markets were fairly unresponsive at the close of the Nasdaq stock exchange that day, with Tesla’s total market capitalisation – its total share value multiplied by shares held – standing at $51.3 billion (£37.7bn).

However, CEO Elon Musk’s perceived rude treatment of financial analysts on the teleconference call wiped $2 billion (£1.47bn) off the electric vehicle company’s stock overnight, after trading closed that day.

Financial markets reacted sharply to the exchange with a nosedive in the business’ shares, which fell by 7.9 per cent at their lowest point to $277.49 (£205).

The total taken off the company’s market valuation at this point on Thursday, May 3, was $3.7bn (£2.75bn).

Prices have recovered slightly in the aftermath, with Musk confident that this upward trend will continue.

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