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Tesla earnings and revenue beat; Shares plunge

Tesla Motors delivered quarterly earnings and revenue that surpassed analysts' expectations on Tuesday.

The company said it finished the quarter with a record of slightly over 5,500 deliveries, including more than 1,000 deliveries to European customers. Some analysts were looking for a higher number.

For the current quarter, Tesla said it plans to deliver close to 6,000 Model S vehicles.

The company reported that gross margins excluding zero emission vehicle credits rose to 21 percent from 14 percent in the previous quarter.

Ben Kallo of R.W. Baird said investors are overlooking the strong margin because they want to see higher deliveries. "They want to see the outlook for deliveries for 2013 raised. And we didn't get the number that were out there, the whisper number," he said.

After the earnings announcement, the company's shares fell 11 percent in after-hours trading. (Click here to track the company's stock following the report.)

A row of new Tesla superchargers outside the company's factory in Fremont, Calif.
Getty Images
A row of new Tesla superchargers outside the company's factory in Fremont, Calif.

Tesla reported a net loss of $38.5 million, or 32 cents per share, an improvement from a loss of $110.8 million, or $1.05 per share in the year-ago earlier period.

"I think they had a great quarter. They're starting from scratch, almost, and building the company here, but they're not going to do it overnight," Kallo said. "The valuation got ahead of itself, and that's what we're seeing in the after-market right here."

Excluding items, net income rose to $15.9 million, or 13 cents a share, from a quarterly loss of $97.1 million, or 92 cents a share in the year-ago earlier period.

The company posted third-quarter earnings excluding items of 12 cents per share, up from a loss of 92 cents a share in the year-earlier period.

Revenue increased to $603 million from $50 million a year ago.

Analysts had expected the electric-car maker to report earnings excluding items of 11 cents a share on $535 million in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

—By CNBC.com

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