Tesla posts small 4Q profit, expects to make money this year

FILE- In this July 6, 2018, file photo prospective customers confer with sales associates as a Model 3 sits on display in a Tesla showroom in the Cherry Creek Mall in Denver. Tesla reports earnings Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

DETROIT (AP) — Tesla managed to eke out a small fourth-quarter profit to close 2018, and it pledged to make money in all quarters this year.
But staying in the black will be difficult with a major debt payment due and slowing demand for pricier versions of its electric vehicles.
Palo Alto, California-based Tesla posted net income of $139.48 million, or 78 cents per share, from October through December. But its adjusted earnings, which don’t include stock-based compensation and other one-time items, fell short of Wall Street expectations. Tesla made $1.93 per share, while analysts polled by FactSet expected $2.20.
On a conference call Wednesday, CEO Elon Musk said the first-quarter profit might be small, but he was optimistic about making money “for all quarters going forward.”
The upstart company, which has changed the way people view electric cars worldwide, reported consecutive quarterly net profits for the first time since going public in 2010.
Its fourth-quarter revenue more than doubled from a year ago to $7.23 billion, beating estimates of $7.12 billion.
The company’s cash position improved by $753 million at the end of the year to $4.28 million, despite repaying $230 million in convertible notes. It had $9.4 billion in debt at the end of the year, a slight improvement over 2017.
For the full year, Tesla lost $976.09 million, or $5.72 per share. Without one-time items, the loss was $1.33 per share, worse than estimates of $1.24.