Tesla Announces High Profits in Quarter Where Musk Was Embroiled in Scandals

Guardian Web |

The last three months have been the worst of times and the best of times for Tesla  (TSLA). The troubled electric car company announced a surprisingly high profit on Wednesday, the same quarter in which its founder Elon Musk has spun way out of control.

The company made a profit of $312m in the last three months – comfortably beating analysts’ expectations – and revenues were also higher than expected at $6.82bn. Tesla’s shares shot up more than 10% in after-hours trading.

Over the same period Musk has been embroiled in a series of bizarre scandals. He is currently being sued by a British diver he called a “pedo” after the two rowed over how to save a group of children stuck in a Thai cave. Musk has smoked cannabis while live on a radio show. He and the company have been fined and sanctioned by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and are still under investigation by the justice department.

But despite its issues, Tesla is emerging as the leader in electronic vehicles sector. In the third quarter of the year, the mid-priced Tesla Model 3 was the fifth bestselling passenger car in America, according to industry analyst Edmunds. The Model 3 was the 18th bestselling vehicle in the US overall.

Jeremy Acevedo, manager of industry analysis at Edmunds, said: “The third quarter in many ways serves as Elon Musk’s redemption – you may not agree with his approach, but you can’t argue with the numbers. Between the SEC battle, controversial interviews and Twitter feuds, Elon’s antics hit a zenith in the third quarter, yet Tesla managed to exceed production goals and the Model 3 outsold many of the most popular cars in America. Achieving profitability is a huge milestone, and one that even the most staunch Tesla skeptics would have to give them a little bit of kudos for.”

However, he said, issues remained. The Trump administration’s trade spat with China would hamper its growth in China and plans to get the cost of its Model 3 car down to the targeted $35,000 (they currently sell for about $49,000 and up) remain “a fantasy”, he said.

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Companies

Symbol Name Price Change % Volume
TSLA Tesla Motors Inc. 354.31 5.87 1.68 7,206,191 Trade

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