Tesla Motors Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) has seen a meteoric rise of 410% since the start of 2013, and the electric automaker is set to announce its third-quarter earnings tomorrow (Tuesday) after market close. TSLA climbed 8% today to $175.18 ahead of the report.
Analysts predict earnings of $0.11 per share for the electric automobile manufacturer. The California-based company suffered an earnings loss of $0.92 per share in the third quarter of 2012.
Analysts are optimistic that Tesla will report a quarterly revenue of more than $534 million, good for an incredible 967% year-over-year increase.
But those aren't the most important numbers investors should watch. The number that could be most impressive when chief executive officer and co-founder Elon Musk makes his announcement Tuesday is Tesla's profit margin.
In a recent conference call, Musk projected a profit margin of 19%. That's up from TSLA's second-quarter figure of 13% and is a significant increase from the first quarter, when Tesla reported a profit margin of just 5%.
Traditionally, automakers report slim profit margins, making TSLA's 19% projections all the more impressive. In their last earnings reports, General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM), Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (NYSE: HMC), Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM), and Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) posted profit margins of 3.6%, 3.5%, 5.4%, and 3.9% respectively.
Musk's profit-margin optimism continues to the fourth quarter, where he is targeting 25%.
Some more good news that investors hope will boost Tesla stock after earnings:
An expanded agreement with battery-producer Panasonic Corp. is expected to increase production of Tesla models and therefore positively impact sales.
The automaker also recently unveiled its "Supercharger Corridor" that allows owners of the Model S to travel from San Diego to Vancouver without having to pay a dime. Charging stations have been set up throughout California, Oregon, and Washington for owners of the electric vehicle.
While these developments, paired with the growth figures, are encouraging for shareholders, not all of Tesla's figures are quite as rosy…