Tesla Takes $51M Impairment Charge for Bitcoin Holdings in Third Quarter

Electric car maker Tesla (TSLA) took an impairment charge of $51 million in the third quarter to account for its bitcoin holdings.

Elon Musk’s electric vehicle company reported no new sales or purchases of digital assets, according to its 3Q earnings presentation. The company currently holds $1.26 billion in bitcoin.According to accounting rules for digital assets, if the price of an asset falls during the quarter, a company must report an impairment, but if the price increases, that is not reported as a gain on the balance sheet.Bitcoin gained roughly 30% in the third quarter, rising to about $43,800.Tesla announced in February it had purchased $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin. Later in Q1, the company trimmed its bitcoin position by 10%, a sale that boosted that quarter’s earnings by $272 million. Tesla also didn’t buy or sell any bitcoin in the second quarter. Overall, Tesla’s adjusted Q3 earnings per share came in at $1.86 versus $1.62 expected, according to FactSet, while revenues came in at $13.76 billion vs. $14.00 billion expected.Tesla’s share price fell 0.2% to $864.22 in after-hours trading on Wednesday.

UPDATE (Oct. 20, 21:03 UTC): Added information in the second bullet point.

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