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Tesla’s stock jumps after it posted the second profitable quarter in its history

The company posted $2.15 billion in revenue in the third quarter and earned 72 cents per share.

Asa Mathat

Tesla, which has struggled to meet many of its own production deadlines in the past, made a quarterly profit for only the second time in the company’s history and beat Wall Street estimates.

The stock rose as much as 6 percent in after-market trading.

The company, led by CEO Elon Musk, earned 72 cents a share for the third quarter, beating the analysts’ expectations of a 54 cent loss, according to a Reuters survey.

Tesla also beat revenue estimates, generating $2.15 billion in sales, more than doubling from the same period last year. The Street was looking for revenue of about $1.98 billion.

The company produced 25,185 vehicles in Q3 and expects to meet its goal of delivering 50,000 cars for the second half of 2016. It delivered 24,821 Teslas over the course of the quarter, beating out its own expectation by 300 cars.

"Definitely one of the best moments ever in Tesla, I think,” Musk said during the earnings call.

Model S and Model X orders also grew 68 percent compared with the same period last year. The company is also getting closer to beginning production on the 373,000 Model 3s that have been reserved — according to the letter, Tesla has completed the production line layouts for the Model 3 and will begin to add the the other necessary components soon.

According to Musk, the theory that the company was able to achieve these numbers because of substantial discounting was “absolutely false” and that discounts were few and far between and now have been reduced to zero.

The company posted its earnings just days before Tesla shareholders are expected to vote on whether to allow the acquisition of SolarCity to go through. While Musk said to take his statements with a grain of salt, he said that the company expects SolarCity to be “somewhere between neutral or a cash contributor in the fourth quarter” and that the company will “probably” not have to raise capital in the next quarter or even the first quarter of next year.

Musk also said Tesla’s plan for Model 3 production will likely not require any additional cash raises.

“Now, that’s different from saying whether we should raise capital or not [in order] to account for uncertainty or to ... de-risk the business,” he said.

The company came under fire recently for the lack of reliability of its Model X vehicles. Consumer Reports recently downgraded Tesla’s rating on a reliability scale because of reported malfunctions with its Model X vehicles. However, Musk said the vehicle reliability improvements in production are massive.

It’s been a busy month for Tesla which expects to unveil a solar roof on Friday. Just last week the company introduced the second version of its Autopilot which includes hardware needed for full autonomy. When asked whether the company expects to see a huge increase in the investment in research and development as it pursues a fully autonomous future, Musk said only moderate increases.

“[There’s this notion] that to add a step change in capacity, you have to add a step change in capital. That’s not true, you can always optimize.”

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