Tesla Model S and Model X get price cuts, new naming scheme

Tesla reports profit as issues stabilise

Shares of Tesla were trading up 3% ahead of Wednesday's results.

Tesla reported that it would continue to ramp up Model 3 deliveries worldwide, including Europe and Asia, while US deliveries may decrease slightly in the first three months of 2019.

However, Tesla said it expects to turn a profit in each quarter of 2019.

Tesla rattled investors on Wednesday by reporting profit that fell short of expectations and revealing that its chief financial officer is leaving - the latest senior executive to exit the electric auto company.

"This year should be a truly exciting one for Tesla", the firm said in a letter to investors.

Fourth-quarter revenue: $7.1 billion.

However, the company said in its statement announcing results Wednesday that it expects to have positive GAAP net income and free cash flow in every quarter beyond the fiscal first quarter of 2019.

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Adjusted fourth-quarter earnings per share: $2.10.

Bullish Tesla analyst Colin Rusch of Oppenheimer told clients Monday that "Model 3 demand, production, and margin" will be the primary drivers of the stock this year. Overall it is the fourth quarter that Tesla is announcing a profit since the 2010 IPO.

"Batteries and powertrains will come out and go straight into the vehicle", Musk said, per Wired.

Tesla said that when its factory in China begins building cars, it expects that Model 3 production will cost half as much as production in Fremont.

The company said it plans to produce its Model 3 "at maximum production rates" this year.

The Palo Alto, California-based company has struggled to find a pricing mix that is both accessible to consumers and profitable for the company as it tries to ramp up deliveries. Throughout 2018, Tesla delivered a total of 145,846 Model 3, making it "the best-selling premium vehicle (including SUVs) in the U.S. for 2018", says Tesla and thinks this will continue. It expects to deliver between 360,000 to 400,000 vehicles in 2019, an increase of as much as 65 percent when compared with a year ago.

"This quarter, as with Q3, shipment of higher priced Model 3 variants (this time to Europe and Asia) will hopefully allow us, with great difficulty, effort and some luck, to target a tiny profit", he wrote in a letter to employees. Last year, the automaker attributed logistical problems to reports that lots full of Model 3s waiting for delivery inflated the automaker's claims of achieving 5,000 Model 3s per week. This projection is slightly behind schedule when compared to Musk's previous commentary in mid-2017, when he had asserted that investors should have "zero" doubt that Model 3 production would hit 10,000 per week in 2018.

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