Tesla Inc. is set to reach a new milestone when it reports third-quarter results after the markets close on Wednesday.

The electric automaker is expected to generate more than US$8 billion in revenue, according to Bloomberg data. That would top its previous quarterly revenue record, which was reached in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Investors will no doubt be watching to see if the company also provides an update on its initial year-end vehicle delivery target.

Back in January, Tesla confidently predicted it could deliver a record 500,000 vehicles in 2020. That would compare to roughly 367,000 deliveries last year.

The economic disruptions from COVID-19 have forced many businesses to ditch their pre-pandemic forecasts.

But Tesla and its CEO Elon Musk seem to relish the opportunity to prove naysayers wrong. 

After a challenging second quarter, the company recently reported it delivered a better-than-expected 139,300 vehicles in Q3 (Tesla discloses delivery numbers ahead of its actual earnings).

The company’s resilience has helped silence Wall Street bears, with Tesla’s stock rising more than 400 per cent this year.  The company’s market cap is now four times greater than the combined market value of General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler.

Musk himself is now the third richest person in the world, thanks to his stakes in both Tesla and SpaceX.

But in order to reach its initial year-end target, Tesla would need to sell more than 181,000 vehicles in its fourth quarter.  That would represent whopping 62 per cent increase from the same period last year.

By comparison, deliveries in the third quarter rose roughly 40 per cent.

To make those numbers, Tesla would no doubt be reliant on some trends out of its control — namely, more signs of economic improvement in key markets like the United States and China.

Currently, nine Wall Street analysts polled by Bloomberg estimate the company will deliver more than 158,000 vehicles in its fourth quarter.

While that would mean the company falls short of its initial goal, it would still represent 30 per cent annual growth and another record year of deliveries.

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