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Tesla Earnings Mixed, But Model X Crossover Is All the Rage

Electric vehicle maker Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) is hoping the momentum from its Model X crossover launch can overshadow Wednesday evening’s mixed earnings report.

The company was trading flat before the bell after announcing fourth-quarter losses that grew 60% to $81.5 million (69 cents per share) from the year before. Analysts expected greater losses due to Tesla’s increased spending in R&D and elsewhere, but the Street’s bar for 62 cents per share still was too high for Tesla to clear.

However, quarterly revenues were up 9% to $39 million from the same period in 2010, full-year revenues were up almost 75% to $204 million, and Tesla expects revenues to triple in 2012. Earnings are expected to lag, with the company saying in a letter that net losses “will continue as planned until we reach volumes sales of Model S in 2013.”

But while the Model S — Tesla’s electric full-size sedan expected out this year — is expected to be the workhorse, it’s a crossover that’s helping move the stock needle as of late.

Tesla revealed the electric Model X crossover last week, and it became an instant hit. According to The Detroit News, TSLA made $40 million in pre-sales for the Model X in one day, and traffic to Tesla’s website spiked 2,800%, with two-thirds of those guests never having visited before. Even reservations of the Model S jumped 30% after the reveal, The Detroit News reported.

Meanwhile, since Friday, TSLA shares have steadily risen almost 8%.

No price has been announced for the Model X, but a few specs are available that boast both energy efficiency and power: The Model X should run between 214 to 267 miles on a charge, and accelerate from 0 to 60 in 4.4 seconds. The crossover is expected to launch in 2014.

— Kyle Woodley, Assistant Editor

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media,

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