Tesla posts another loss, but says on track for future deliveries

Wed Aug 3, 2016 7:33pm EDT
 
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(Editor's note: This story may contain language in paragraph 9 that may offend some readers)

By Anya George Tharakan and Alexandria Sage

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Tesla Motors Inc TSLA.O reported a steeper than expected quarterly loss on Wednesday on higher spending at its vehicle and battery factories, and said adjusted profitability could be within sight if the company meets its delivery goals.

The 13th straight quarterly loss for the Silicon Valley electric carmaker underscores the financial hurdles that hamper it while it takes on increasingly ambitious goals - a ten-fold ramp of vehicle production in three years and the recent plan to acquire solar panel installer SolarCity Corp SCTY.O.

Tesla, led by entrepreneur Elon Musk, said it was still on track to deliver about 50,000 new Model S and Model X vehicles during the second half of 2016, and reiterated that it would spend $2.25 billion in capital expenditures in 2016 to prepare for its upcoming Model 3 sedan.

If the company can fulfill those production and delivery goals in the second half of the year, "we've got a great chance of being non-GAAP profitable" Chief Financial Officer Jason Wheeler told analysts on a conference call without specifying a time period.

Tesla reported its first-ever quarterly profit in 2013.

Shares of the company, which has offered to buy SolarCity for $2.6 billion, were little changed in after-hours trading.

"There's no doubt Tesla will remain the category leader as electric vehicles become increasingly mainstream, but it could be years before the bottom line justifies any investment in Tesla other than a purely speculative one," said James Brumley, InvestorPlace.com analyst.   Continued...

 
A prototype of the Tesla Model 3 is on display in front of the factory during a media tour of the Tesla Gigafactory which will produce batteries for the electric carmaker in Sparks, Nevada, U.S. July 26, 2016.  REUTERS/James Glover II