Tesla sold some of its bitcoin stash in the first quarter for $272 million in proceeds.
The sale trimmed Tesla’s position by 10%, Tesla CFO Zach Kirkhorn said on an earnings call Monday.
In the slide deck accompanying the company’s first-quarter earnings results Monday, Tesla mentioned the sale of some bitcoin:
"Year over year, positive impacts from volume growth, regulatory credit revenue growth, gross margin improvement driven by further product cost reductions and sale of Bitcoin ($101M positive impact, net of related impairments, in 'Restructuring & Other' line) were mainly offset by a lower ASP, increased SBC, additional supply chain costs, R&D investments and other items. Model S and Model X changeover costs negatively impacted both gross profit as well as R&D expenses."
Elon Musk’s electric vehicle company purchased $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin in February.
Kirkhorn said on the call that Tesla invested in bitcoin to earn yield on its excess cash in a low-interest-rate environment.
While the company continues to deal with global supply chain crunches like semiconductor shortages or ship port capacity, he said the bitcoin market is a liquid market with an optimistic future.
“There aren’t many traditional opportunities to do this, or at least that we found … particularly with yields being so low and without taking on additional risk or sacrificing liquidity,” Kirkhorn said, despite bitcoin’s perception as a risk asset among most traditional financial analysts.
Telsa will continue to accumulate bitcoin through customer transactions and will make bitcoin-related announcements in the future, Kirkhorn added.
UPDATE (April 26, 22:20 UTC): Adds comments from Tesla CFO Zach Kirkhorn.