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Tesla Posts Narrower-Than-Expected Q4 Loss


Luxury electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA), Wednesday reported a loss for the fourth quarter that was wider than last year. However, loss for the quarter were narrower than what Wall Street analysts expected, as revenues also trumped estimates.

Palo Alto, California-based Tesla reported fourth-quarter loss of $675.4 million or $4.01 per share, compared to last year's loss of $121.3 million or $0.78 per share.

Excluding items, adjusted loss for the quarter was $513.1 million or $3.04 per share. On average, 20 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected loss of $3.12 per share for the quarter.

Tesla's revenues for the quarter surged $3.29 billion from $2.28 billion last year. Analysts had a consensus revenue estimate of $3.28 billion.

Automotive gross margins for the quarter dropped to 18.9 percent from 22.6 percent a year ago.

"2017 was an important year in Tesla's history. Among other things, we started delivering Model 3 to customers, unveiled the Semi and the next-generation Roadster, installed the world's largest battery in Australia, and had record vehicle production and deliveries of Model S and Model X. We also learned many lessons from the slower than planned production ramp of Model 3. All of this sets the stage for 2018 to be a transformative year for us" CEO Elon Musk said in a statement.

The company delivered 28,425 Model S and Model X vehicles and 1,542 Model 3 vehicles, totaling 29,967 deliveries, in the fourth quarter. Combined Model S and Model X deliveries in Q4 grew 10 percent globally from third quarter and 28 percent from last year.

Moving ahead, the company sees its revenue growth for this year to significantly exceed last year's growth rate.

The company continues to target weekly Model 3 production rates of 2,500 by the end of first quarter and 5,000 by the end of second quarter. Tesla expects Model S and Model X deliveries to be about 100,000 in total in 2018, constrained by the supply of cells with the old 18650 form factor.

TSLA closed Wednesday's regular trading at $345.00, up $11.03 or 3.30% on the Nasdaq. The stock further gained $7.55 or 2.46% in the after-hours trading.

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