Tesla stock soars on earnings beat, Model S expansion

CNBC.com with Reuters
Tesla a tech story: Pro

Tesla delivered quarterly earnings and revenue that beat analysts' expectations, and announced increased Model S production Wednesday.

After the earnings announcement, Tesla shares rose as much as 15 percent in after-hours trading. (Click here to get the latest quotes.)

The company posted fourth-quarter earnings excluding items of 33 cents per share and non-GAAP revenue of $761 million on strong demand for its Model S electric car. GAAP revenue was $615 million.

Analysts had expected Tesla to report EPS of 21 cents on $686 million in non-GAAP revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

Including items, the company reported a net loss of 13 cents a share.

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Record Model S deliveries

The electric automaker delivered a record 6,892 Model S vehicles during the quarter and announced an upcoming expansion in output. Model S production is expected to rise to 1,000 a week from 600 a week.

Shares climbed to record highs last month when China announced that Tesla Model S sedans would qualify for higher-than-anticipated incentives.

Tesla expects to deliver more than 35,000 Model S vehicles in 2014, an increase of more than 55 percent from the 22,477 it delivered last year. In the first quarter, it will deliver about 6,400 of those cars.

Wedbush analyst Craig Irwin said the company's average selling prices were about 10 percent higher than expected during the quarter, and that investors were pleased with the company's stellar outlook for 2014.

"The cover is off the ball," he said.

New models, China entry

The company said operating expenses and capital spending will increase significantly this year as it expands production capacity for both the Model S and Model X crossover vehicle, invests in stores and Supercharger infrastructure and finishes development of the Model X. It is also starting early design work on its third-generation vehicle.

Tesla said it expects to have Model X prototypes on the road by the end of the year and will begin deliveries to customers in the spring of next year.

Tesla noted that the first Model S deliveries to China are scheduled for this spring. Already, its Beijing store is its largest and most active retail location globally.

Correction: This article has been updated to reflect the correct revenue comparison.

—By CNBC.com with Reuters