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Oct 23, 2019

Tesla surges as Musk's cost cuts pay off with surprise profit

Tesla surges after surprise profit

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Tesla Inc. shares surged in late trading after the electric-car maker reined in expenses and posted its first profit in almost a year.

The maker of the Model 3 sedan earned US$1.86 a share in the third quarter, beating analysts’ average estimate for a 24-cent loss. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk has announced at least three rounds of job cuts since last year and restructured business units to counter slowing sales of its higher-margin models.

“Operating expenses are at the lowest level since Model 3 production started,” Tesla said in a statement. “As a result, we returned to GAAP profitability in Q3 while generating positive free cash flow. This was possible by removing substantial cost from our business.”

Tesla shares climbed as much as 18 per cent to US$299.88 in late trading. The stock was down 23 per cent this year through Wednesday’s close.

Revenue fell to US$6.3 billion in the third quarter, missing analysts’ estimates and down from US$6.8 billion a year ago. The drop is the first year-over-year decline for the company since 2012, when the Model S sedan was just going into production.