Tesla CEO Elon Musk: ‘People do not realize the magnitude of the Optimus robot program’

Elon Musk is clearly bullish on Tesla (TSLA), the potential of Twitter (TWTR), and the Optimus robot.

“I was surprised that people do not realize the magnitude of the Optimus robot program,” the Tesla CEO said on the company’s earnings call late Wednesday. “The importance of Optimus will become apparent in the coming years. Those who are insightful or who listen carefully will understand that Optimus ultimately will be worth more than the car business and worth more than full self-driving, that’s my firm belief.”

Tesla first revealed the Optimus robot — also known as Tesla Bot — at an artificial intelligence-focused event in August 2021. The robot, 5-foot 8 inches and 125 pounds, is designed to perform repetitive or mundane tasks that humans hate (or can’t be hired to do in a tight labor market).

Tesla's concept for the Optimus bot that Elon Musk touted. (Tesla)

Tesla’s concept for the Optimus bot that Elon Musk touted. (Tesla)

Wall Street analysts generally don’t believe Optimus will be a financial needle mover in the medium-term given they aren’t being produced at scale.

“I would say no, but time will tell,” Wells Fargo auto analyst Colin Langan told Yahoo Finance when asked about the robot impact. “He has proven the markets wrong before.”

In theory, the Optimus program has potential to help Tesla lower operating costs in its facilities —it’s just a matter if Musk can make enough robots.

In the meantime, what the Street is believing on Tesla is that could be on its way to another strong year of making electric vehicles profitably.

Shares of Tesla rose 7% in pre-market trading as Tesla pummeled Wall Street estimates for sales, margins, and earnings. The stock was the number one trending ticker on the Yahoo Finance platform.

Here’s how Tesla performed versus Street estimates:

Musk noted that despite COVID-19 related shutdowns at its key Shanghai manufacturing plant recently, Tesla production has come back with a “vengeance.” He added that will aid in Tesla potentially delivering 60% more cars this year compared to 2021, ahead of many analyst estimates.

“Taking a step back, with the supply chain issues still a lingering overhang on the auto space and logistical issues globally, we believe these ‘Cinderella-like’ delivery numbers in a brutal supply chain backdrop speaks to an EV demand trajectory that looks quite robust for Tesla heading into the rest of 2022,” Wedbush Managing Director Dan Ives said.

Ives has a $1,400 price target on the stock. At current levels, Ives’ price target assumes 33% upside over the next 12-months.

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