Tesla Earns Surprise Profit, But Will Miss Expectations For 2014 Model S Sales

Tesla just reported third-quarter earnings.

On a non-GAAP basis, revenue beat expectations, earning $US0.02 per share. Revenue was $US932 million.

The company reported a non-GAAP profit of $US3 million for the quarter.

Analysts expected a loss of 1 cent per share, against a gain of 12 cents for the same period last year.

The stock was trading up about 4% after hours.

All eyes are on Tesla sales. The company had expected to sell 35,000 cars worldwide and over 17,000 in the US in 2014.

However, Tesla reported that 2014 sales will come in at 33,000, but that the company will still be able to manufacture 35,000 cars for the year.

The gap of 2,000 vehicles is something Tesla had earlier indicated would show up in the third quarter, but it now appears that the company doesn’t think it will be able to catch up by the end of the year.

The issue of production and sales for 2014 being out of sync is something that Tesla has addressed. It expects this issue to be resolved in 2015, as the company’s plant in California adjusts to higher Model S production levels and the roll-out of the Model X SUV, now expected to hit the market in the third quarter of 2015.

Tesla is holding a call with analysts at 5:30 p.m. ET, so we should get some clarity on the sales issue from CEO Elon Musk. 

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