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.

An image from Tesla's Q1 2021 earnings deck.

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.

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