Tesla confounded analysts once again by posting a third quarter profit of two cents per share despite predictions of a loss for the quarter due to the halt in production in the company’s plant in Fremont, California.
Analysts were not optimistic about the company’s odds of turning a profit and the average estimate compiled by Bloomberg was zero cents.
“Despite losing almost a month of production due to factory retooling, we delivered the highest number of Model S vehicles ever, with several new records set in North America and worldwide,” Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk wrote in a letter to shareholders posted to the company’s website.
Not only did he gleefully report the profit and production results, he also predicted a 50% increase in orders and deliveries of the Model S next year.
Tesla shares rose more than 6% to above $248 a share in after-hours trading. The stock has gained 54% this year.
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The company has been constrained by an inability to make enough of its electric cars to meet demand. It retooled its assembly plant last quarter to increase output and has begun work on a massive battery factory to reduce costs and increase output, explaining Musk’s prediction of a 50% production increase.
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Tesla, which introduced an all-wheel drive Model S this quarter, said it plans to be able to build at an annualized pace of 100,000 vehicles by the end of next year. The company said it saw record sales in September.
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The report wasn’t all good news for Tesla investors and customers waiting to receive their cars. The company said it plans to begin delivering its Model X sport-utility vehicle in the third quarter of 2015, “a few months later than previously expected,” and it trimmed its forecast for vehicle sales this year to 33,000 from 35,000.
Quarterly unit sales unit sales for the youngest publicly held U.S. carmaker rose to a best-ever 7,785, short of the 7,892 that was the average of nine analysts estimates surveyed by Bloomberg.