Tesla reports first quarterly profit in more than three years
Tesla Motors Inc. reported its first quarterly net profit in more than three years on Wednesday as record deliveries helped to offset rising expenses related to next year's roll-out of the company's mass-market Model 3 sedan.
Tesla, led by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, recorded net income of $21.9 million US, or 14 cents per share, for the third quarter ended Sept. 30 compared with a loss of $229.9 million, or $1.78 per share, a year earlier.
Tesla, which went public in 2010, had not made a net quarterly profit since the first quarter of 2013.
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Total revenue more than doubled to $2.30 billion.
On an adjusted basis, Tesla reported a profit of 71 cents per share, compared with a loss of $1.35 per share in the same period last year. It was the company's first profit on that basis since the third quarter of 2014.
Tesla, whose shares were up 6.2 per cent in after-hours trading, reiterated its delivery target for the second-half of 2016, saying it expected to deliver just over 25,000 vehicles in the current quarter.
The Silicon Valley carmaker said earlier this month that it delivered 24,500 vehicles in the latest quarter, an increase of 70 per cent from the same period last year.
Tesla is counting on the $35,000 Model 3 to help it meet its goal of producing 500,000 cars annually in 2018.
Tesla said it had $3.08 billion in cash and cash-equivalents as of Sept. 30, compared with $3.25 billion at the end of the second quarter.
Tesla did not provide in its earnings statement an update on its planned $2.6 billion acquisition of unprofitable solar panel maker SolarCity Corp.
Musk, who is SolarCity's chairman and top shareholder as well as being Tesla's chief executive, has said he plans to provide more financial details on the deal on Nov. 1 ahead of a vote by shareholders of both companies on Nov. 17.
Investors and analysts are concerned that SolarCity will divert needed cash from money-losing Tesla and distract Musk from the Model 3 project.
The company, which is building a $5 billion "gigafactory" in Nevada to make batteries, said it expected capital expenditure of $1.8 billion this year, most of this in the current quarter.
Musk said earlier this month that Tesla would not need to raise additional equity or debt this year, contradicting an earlier filing with regulators.
The company's total operating costs rose 32.7 per cent to $551.1 million in the latest quarter.
Up to Wednesday's close of $202.24, Tesla's shares had fallen 15.7 per cent this year.
Of 20 analysts covering the company, seven have a "sell" rating on the stock, four rate it "buy" or higher and nine have a "hold", according to Thomson Reuters data.