If one analyst is to be believed, Tesla ended the year in ludicrous mode.
The electric car maker likely delivered enough cars to hit the high end of its annual shipment guidance, according to Trip Chowdhry, managing director for Global Equities Research. If true, Tesla managed to successfully maneuver through a particularly tricky time as it tries to increase production for two models at the same time.
In a research note to clients this week, Chowdhry said he predicted that Tesla has delivered enough cars so that it would end the fourth quarter at the high end of its guidance. He expected that Tesla delivered 18,300 cars in the quarter, he said, which would be at the higher end of an expected 17,000 to 19,000 cars.
Tesla's annual and fourth quarter deliveries are very important numbers for the company. Investors want to know if it the car maker can meet the challenge of ramping up production for the Model X electric SUV at the same time that it has been trying to make more Model S electric sedans.
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Initially, Tesla said it would ship 55,000 cars this year. But in August, because of the difficulty of making both cars at the same time, it revised that prediction slightly to between 50,000 and 55,000. Then in November the company adjusted its guidance again by saying that the number would be 50,000 to 52,000.
During the first three quarters this year, Tesla has shipped 33,117 cars. If Chowdhry's prediction about the latest quarter is correct, Tesla delivered 51,400 cars this year. Chowdhry said he expects Tesla to announce its quarterly shipments on Monday, January 4th.
Only around 300 of those cars were the Model X, according to Chowdhry. Those figures are in line with what Tesla had told Fortune about how many Model X cars were produced earlier this week. Tesla only started shipping the very first Model X cars at the end of September, but in recent weeks has started delivering the Signature Series of the Model X, which is a high-end model for early reservation holders.