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Tesla Results Trounce Estimates


Electric car maker Tesla Motors, Inc. (TSLA) said Wednesday after the markets closed that its fourth quarter loss narrowed sharply from last year, as revenue more than doubled amid strong sales of its Model S electric luxury sedan.

The company's quarterly earnings per share, excluding items, also handily beat analysts' expectations as did its quarterly revenue.

"Last quarter, we had record deliveries of 6,892 vehicles and exceeded our target automotive gross margin of 25%, achieving 25.2% on a non-GAAP basis and 25.8% on a GAAP basis," said Elon Musk, Tesla CEO and Chairman.

Tesla shares are currently gaining 12.35% in after hours trading after closing the day's regular trading session at $193.64, down $10.06 or 4.94%. The shares trade in a 52-week range of $33.80 to $206.00.

Tesla Motors rose to fame by producing the Tesla Roadster, the first fully electric sports car, followed by the Model S, a fully electric luxury sedan.

For the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2013, the Palo Alto, California-based company reported a net loss of $16.3 million or $0.13 per share, compared to a net loss of $89.9 million or $0.79 per share for the year-ago quarter.

Excluding items, adjusted net income for the fourth quarter was $45.9 million or $0.33 per share, compared to an adjusted net loss of $74.6 million or $0.65 per share in the prior year quarter.

On average, 12 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to earn $0.15 per share for the fourth quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items..

Total revenues for the fourth quarter jumped to $615.22 million from $306.33 million in the same quarter last year. Adjusted revenue for the latest quarter was $761.34 million. Thirteen analysts had a consensus revenue estimate of $615.44 million for the fourth quarter.

Looking forward, the company expects first quarter production to be about 7,400 vehicles, which is significantly higher than the prior quarter production of 6,587 cars. However, as the number of cars in transit to Europe and Asia must grow substantially to support those markets, the company plans to deliver about 6,400 vehicles in the first quarter.

The company also said it expects to deliver over 35,000 Model S vehicles in 2014, representing a 55+% increase over 2013.

Production is expected to increase from 600 cars/week presently to about 1,000 cars/week by end of the year as the company expands factory capacity and address supplier bottlenecks.

The first Model S deliveries to China are scheduled for this spring. The company plans to make substantial investments in China this year by adding new stores, service centers and a Supercharger network.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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