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Tesla Reports a $312 Million Profit While Still Fixing Model 3 Delivery Issues

Tesla was aiming to post a profit by Q3.
Tesla was aiming to post a profit by Q3.
Photo: Ng Han Guan (AP)

Tesla managed to hold to CEO Elon Musk’s word that it would report a profit in the third quarter of 2018, telling shareholders on Wednesday that it posted a $312 million net profit this past quarter. Deliveries were a key issue this quarter, however, the company said.

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In a letter to shareholders issued Wednesday, Tesla said that it maintained an average weekly Model 3 production target of 4,300 units—short of a goal of 5,000 per week, but the company boosted cost efficiencies, leading to a gross margin on the all-electric sedan that exceeded 20 percent.

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Tesla also said its total cash reserves increased by $731 million, leaving it with $3 billion remaining as it moves toward building a new facility in China and launching production of a semi truck and crossover called the Model Y.

Vehicle deliveries and logistics remained a challenge in the third quarter, echoing Musk’s earlier remarks that the company was in a logistics “hell” of sorts.

“One of the most significant improvements was the expansion of direct deliveries where our employee delivers the car wherever the customer would like,” Tesla said. “We believe delivering vehicles to the front door of a customer’s house or office is superior from both a cost and customer satisfaction perspective.”

More as we get it.

Senior Reporter, Jalopnik/Special Projects Desk

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DISCUSSION

Hold on here. Company loses tons of money then manages to make a $300 million profit? Color me skeptical. Is this a funny accounting thing where they can say they technically made money but really they still operated at a loss? Can someone that understands corporate accounting and finance maybe give us some perspective? I just find it hard to believe that a company can pull $300 million out of its ass in one quarter after all of this time.