Tesla up on surprise profit, reassurance on capital plans

Thu Oct 27, 2016 10:07am EDT
 
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By Tenzin Pema and Sayantani Ghosh

(Reuters) - Tesla Motors Inc's shares rose more than 5 percent in early trading on Thursday as investors welcomed the electric car maker's first quarterly profit in more than three years and its reassurance that the Model 3 sedan would not need new capital.

Tesla boss Elon Musk said on Wednesday the company's current plan didn't require new funding, after going back and forth this month about needing to raise money to fund the launch.

Tesla, whose shares have fallen nearly 16 percent this year, said its profits were helped by nearly $139 million in sales of clean car credits.

Tesla's shares rose to $213.40 in morning trade on Thursday.

Wall Street analysts, however, remained skeptical and said they expected the company to hit the market for money sooner than Musk had suggested.

"Management asserted that it would not need to raise cash, but our model forecasts Tesla ending 2018 with $575 mln, which we think is too close for comfort," Cowen and Co analyst Jeffrey Osborne said in a note. He rates the stock "underperform."

Tesla said it planned capital spending of $1.8 billion for the year - about a fifth lower than the automaker's previous forecast - with just over $1 billion of the outlay coming in the fourth quarter.

Tesla said it had $3.08 billion in cash and cash-equivalents as of Sept. 30, compared with $3.25 billion at the end of the second quarter.   Continued...

 
A Tesla Model S charges at a Tesla Supercharger station in Cabazon, California, U.S. May 18, 2016.   REUTERS/Sam Mircovich/File Photo