November 3, 2015 / 9:25 PM / 2 years ago

Tesla shares jump on boost in vehicle sales in third quarter

Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks about new Autopilot features during a Tesla event in Palo Alto, California October 14, 2015. REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA.O) shipped more electric cars than expected in the third quarter with its Model X SUV rollout, boosting its stock by 10 percent even as the company posted its biggest loss in 10 quarters.

Tesla also said on Tuesday that orders were accelerating for both the Model S sedan, launched in mid-2012, and the luxury crossover Model X. It forecast better operating margins in the next few quarters as revenue and gross profit grow faster than expenses.

The stock rose to $229.37 in extended trading, after closing 2.5 percent lower at $208.35 on Nasdaq.

    “The X is selling well. There are no delays or dropoffs in demand for the S. It’s not a cannibalizing car,” said analyst Ivan Feinseth, chief investment officer of Tigress Financial Partners, referring to the X. “People have been waiting for this sweet spot of the market.”

But the company lowered the range of vehicles it expected to deliver this year, to 50,000-52,000, from the 50,000-55,000 it projected last quarter. Tesla also said it planned to increase capital expenditures to $1.7 billion for the year from a previous estimate of $1.5 billion.

Tesla started delivering the Model X Signature series, a premium version of the SUV, late in September. Still in development is the Model 3 - a mass-market vehicle starting at $35,000.

The company said it expected 17,000-19,000 shipments in the current quarter, up from 11,603 in the last quarter.

The company's net loss widened to $229.9 million, or $1.78 per share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30 from $74.7 million, or 60 cents per share, a year earlier. (bit.ly/1HpuA9R)

Total revenue rose 10 percent to $936.8 million.

Excluding items, Tesla had a loss of 58 cents per share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S had expected 50 cents per share.

Editing by Kirti Pandey, Stephen R. Trousdale and Richard Chang

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