Record sales push Tesla to 2nd straight quarterly profit

Friday, January 24, 2020, Vol. 44, No. 4

DETROIT (AP) — Record electric vehicle sales in the fourth quarter helped to push Tesla Inc. to its second-straight quarterly profit, giving bullish investors optimism that sustained black ink lies ahead.

The Palo Alto, California, company said it made a net profit of $105 million from October through December, or 58 cents per share.

The fourth-quarter earnings almost certainly will continue Tesla's meteoric stock appreciation. Shares rose 7% in after-hours trading on Wednesday to $621.89.

The company said in its quarterly investor letter that it expects to "comfortably" exceed production of 500,000 vehicles at its factories in Fremont, California, and Shanghai.

It expects net profits going forward, with possible some possible exceptions at times surrounding the launch of new products.

Tesla said the production ramp-up of the Model Y SUV, a key product for the company, has started ahead of schedule in Fremont. Model Y production in Shanghai will start in 2021. The company also said it plans to start producing limited numbers of its electric semi truck this year.