Elon Musk's Tesla crushes profit targets

Tesla CEO Elon Musk redeemed himself as the company crushed performance metrics in the latest quarter.

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Shares soared in the extended session late Wednesday as the Palo Alto, California-based automaker returned to profitability, a major score for Musk.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
TSLATESLA INC.352.17+2.82+0.81%

The manufacturer of electric vehicles earned $143 million, compared with a loss of $408 million in the three months through June. Per-share profit rebounded to $0.78 from a loss of $2.31. The average estimate of 10 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for a loss of 15 cents per share.

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The company noted that management was more disciplined with costs, which helped turn around gloomy results earlier.

"Last year, our story was about ramping" up production of the lower-priced Model 3, Tesla said in a statement. "While total volumes are expected to grow by approximately 50 percent in 2019, this year our focus has been cost-control and preparing for our next phase of growth."

Despite reductions in the average selling price of the Model 3, Tesla said its profit margins have strengthened. "Additionally, operating expenses are at the lowest level since Model 3 production started," the company said.

In terms of shipments, the company stated: "We are highly confident in exceeding 360,000 deliveries this year" which also pleased investors.

On the conference call, the company noted orders in the current quarter are higher than three months earlier. Trading on Thursday should help Tesla shares curb annual losses of about 23 percent.

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FFORD MOTOR COMPANY8.95+0.16+1.82%

By comparison, Ford slashed its full-year profit forecast when it reported quarterly results. The company cited challenges including higher warranty costs, higher incentives in North America and lower volumes in China.

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