Tesla Motors (TSLA) Beats, But Still Posting Significant Losses; Model S In 2012 On Track

Tesla Motors (TSLA) reported results after the bell today and is still posting significant losses but their are some positives to report.  For one, the company did beat low expectations from analysts posting an EPS loss of .37/share vs the analyst estimate for a .43/share loss on revenues of $31.2 million vs the estimate of $28 million.  Gross margins also picked up to 30%.  Before we get too carried away with enthusiasm though lets keep in mind that while revenues have increased sequentially for three straight quarters it’s still 31% lower than the record year ago quarter.  Lots of work to do with the future of the company hinging on the success of the Model S.

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Elon Musk commented on the Model S: “The launch of the Model S in mid-2012 remains on track and Tesla achieved several key milestones in the quarter. In October, Tesla took title to its manufacturing facility in Fremont, California and also made selective purchases of existing manufacturing equipment in the stamping, plastics and body shops, all of which was acquired at significant discounts compared to new equipment. We are rapidly preparing our Fremont facility for the production of the Model S. At the same time, we have initiated our alpha build process as planned, with the goal of completing the first alpha prototype by the end of the year.  We have also been road testing our Model S prototype powertrain for several weeks now, with positive results.”

Shares of TSLA are down about 2% in after hours trading but have looked much better recently, breaking out of a range with heavy volume November 4th on news that Panasonic invested $30 million in the company.

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